28 July 2014

{Meatless Monday} Recipe: Spinach Quinoa Cakes

Tonight, I was nursing Minion down for his evening nap and deciding what I was going to have for dinner since the kids had already eaten sandwiches and fruit. Just as I was thinking I'd just have a protein shake and a banana, my friend Carly (check out her blog over at Nursing Bliss from a Sleepless Mama) texted me a picture of her dinner...quinoa cakes she'd bought at Costco. She said they were yummy, and we discussed making them ourselves.

I had a bunch of stuff in my fridge that seemed like it would work well, so I decided to experiment once I put Minion down.

The result was delicious...and both Minion (he woke from his incredibly short nap just as I was finishing up) and BabyA approved.

1 bag Trader Joe's pre-cooked quinoa (in the frozen section)
1/4 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c baby spinach, chopped
1 egg
1/4 c grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/8 c shaved Parmesan
2-3 TBSP wheat flour
2 TBSP olive oil (for frying)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the quinoa as directed, either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Allow to cool considerably. I let it cool for about half an hour while I washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

In a small frying pan, saute your onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is just wilted (this takes almost no time, depending on how finely you've chopped the spinach). Set the mixture aside to cool while you grate the cheese.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until they're still wet, but will hold a ball shape.

In the same small frying pan, drop and flatten balls of the mixture until they form cakes. I got 4 cakes from this recipe...and the babies and I ate them all.

These would definitely be good with some kind of Greek yogurt sauce/dip, but Minion was fussing and I was hungry, so I'll have to try that another time.

21 July 2014

My Gentle Parenting Journey

It's been an unforgivably long time since I've posted. Life has had a way of seriously keeping me down for the past several months.

Taking care of a family of 5 with little to no help is exhausting. I really appreciate that The Husband works long hours and provides for us financially, but parenting alone for extended periods of time is really eating away at my sanity.

Of course, it doesn't help that I also got to recently discover that some friendships are only as deep as my pocketbook...and since we're in a seriously tight spot financially, I'll leave it to your imagination to decide where those "friends" have gone.

My writing has been sorely neglected, just like most of the rest of my life. I clean during most nap times and after the kids have finally stopped fighting sleep and gone down for the night (which rarely happens before midnight), and I can't manage to keep everything at an acceptable level of cleanliness for an entire day.

My main focus these days is finding a way to balance my dwindling patience with parenting  a toddler. I've immersed myself in gentle/positive parenting Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. I know that I want my children to grow up to be more than mindlessly obedient little drones who are constantly seeking approval and acceptance. It's tough, though, because I often find myself falling back into the familiar.

I don't have a lot of support outside the internet. My husband isn't entirely on board with the idea of parenting gently and respectfully, most of my family doesn't get it at all, and it's really more difficult to treat my children like individuals than like property that I can control.

What are your favorite gentle parenting resources? How do you cope with spirited/high needs toddlers without losing your cool? How do you handle people who just don't "get it"?

My favorites lately are:

Aha Parenting
Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond

I also have a profound amount of respect for Jeremy and Jessica Martin-Weber over at Beyond Moi. They have posted about choosing gentle parenting, and I absolutely loved the posts: Beyond Yelling and Why We Stopped Spanking Our Children.