Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get your Freezer Ready for Back to School

Now is the time to enjoy the last moments of summertime R&R. Yes, school has started, but it’s not yet Labor Day, the days are still long, PTA meetings have yet to begin and the holidays are still off in the distance.  This weekend is a great time to organize your household so that come GO time (the non-stop marathon that is September, October, November and December) you’re ready!

 One of the best ways to make your life easier this Fall is to utilize your freezer so that even on your busiest nights, dinner can be hassle-free and ready in a jiff. 

Load up on your family’s favorite homemade entrees:  pack your freezer full of meals made with love by you that  also freeze well.  Our favorite frozen homemade meals are enchiladas, lasagna, soup and stew (broth based soups, as dairy based soups don’t freeze well), Peas Protein Burgers, veggie casserole and shepherds pie.  When packaging these frozen meals, make sure that they have thoroughly cooled and are loaded to the brim; too much space in the container will cause freezer burn.

Load up on premade staples:  Next time you make grains, beans or some kind of sauce, prepare extra and freeze for a rainy (busy) day.  You can use these sides as a base for a quick meal, adding fresh veggies to freshen up the dish.

Peas of Mind will save the day:  Stocking your freezer with Peas of Mind products will leave you and your little ones happy, satisfied and feeling good about the fact that you’ve all eaten your daily dose of veggies. All of our products have clean, simple ingredients loaded with FULL servings of veggies. Not to mention the fact that cook time is minimal. 

 Now is your time to utilize your nice long weekend and get your freezer back to school ready; your future self will thank you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Late Summer Rainbow Noodle Salad

School is officially in session and your weeknights are becoming a whirlwind of carpooling, homework and early bedtimes. But it's still summertime and evening temperatures are still scorching  so when it comes to dinnertime, you'd like to whip up a quick to prepare and refreshing salad. But your family doth protest; they need something much more filling and exciting than a bowl of lettuce - that’s where our Rainbow Noodle Salad comes in.  This month we're making noodle ribbons out of our favorite summer veggies and topping it with protein rich peanut sauce. This gluten-free noodle salad will cool off your family and ensure they eat their daily dose of veggies!

Rainbow Noodle Salad
-2 carrots 
-1 zucchini
-1 yellow squash
-1 cucumber
-1 8oz package of soba noodles
-1 tsp of sesame oil
-1 tbsp of sesame seeds to garnish

Peanut Sauce
-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
-2 tbsp  soy sauce
-1 inch fresh ginger, minced 
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1 tbsp agave nectar, or sugar
-juice of 1 lime

Follow the cooking instructions on the soba noodle packaging.  Pour
drained noodles into a large bowl and toss with the sesame oil. Next,
peel off the skins of the carrots, zucchini, squash and cucumber.  Once
the veggies are skinless, continue to use the peeler to make vegetable
ribbons by simply peeling the flesh of the vegetables. Add the ribbons
to your bowl of soba noodles and mix.  Put the bowl in the refrigerator
to chill for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl combine, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic,
coriander, agave and lime. Mix all the ingredients together until the
peanut sauce is creamy.  If the texture is too thick, add a small amount
of water and mix in until desired consistency.

Pour sauce over noodles and toss well. Sprinkle each serving with

sesame seeds. Serves 4

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Food of the Month: Tomatoes

Is a tomato a fruit? Or is it a vegetable? Here at Peas of Mind, we really don't care; what we're looking for this August is a perfectly vine ripened summer tomato.  The trick to truly loving a tomato (and getting your little one to do the same) is to be picky.  Yes, you heard that right, we want you and your kids to be BE PICKY. This means waiting all winter and spring  for beautifully seasonal summer tomatoes and saying NO to the mealy refrigerated tomato that comes as an after thought on the salad you ordered in the middle of February.  Nobody really likes that kind of tomato and that might be why your little one turns up her nose when you try to cut her up a tomato for a snack.  Yes, you will wait months for your for the perfect tomato but trust us, when it comes to nutrition and flavor, it will be well worth the wait.   

When eaten during the summer months tomatoes are a great source of vitamin A, C and folic acid. They also have high levels of lycopene which has been shown to protect against heart disease and choline which helps with learning and memory (a tomato a day may make summer reading time that much more productive). 

Now the question is, how do you incorporate these delectable summer treats into your kid's diet? Have no fear, Peas of Mind is here and we've compiled our favorite tomato recipe ideas and made them extra simple and extra kid friendly:

Homemade tomato sauce: 
The trick to an easy and yummy tomato sauce is using your blender or food processor.  Simply halve the tomatoes, peel a few cloves of garlic and puree in your blender.  Pour into a sauce pan and add your favorite herbs and veggies, bring to boil then put on low and let simmer for about 90 minutes (no need to stir, just make sure it's nice and low).  Before serving add a "glug" of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and sugar to taste (this will bring out the sweetness of your fresh tomatoes).

Some kids say EEEK to salsa BUT if you can figure out what it is they don't like about salsa and remove that and combine it with their favorite corn/tortilla chips, they'll devour it.  Most kids tend to be sensitive to spicy peppers, onions and cilantro.  Make a simple salsa with a small amount of finely chopped yellow onion (the most mild), chopped tomatoes (have your little ones choose a special heirloom tomato - with all the different colors, sizes, and shapes they'll love the challenge of finding the coolest tomato at the farmers market), a small amount of finely chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, salt and agave.  Again, this hit of sweetness brings out the natural kid friendly flavors of a ripe tomato.  Allow the salsa to marinate in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes before serving.

Rustic Homemade Ketchup:  Follow this recipea for our delicious and easy to make homemade ketchup. Don't forget to pair with a tray of Broccoli Veggie Wedgies for the perfect afternoon snack!

Stuffed tomatoes:
Halve a few large tomatoes and have your little ones help you gently scrape out most of the insides/pulp of each tomato.  In a hot pan combine bread crumbs, the tomato pulp, herbs, cheese and stir-fry together until mixed thoroughly.  Add mixture back into tomatoes and top with a bit more cheese. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes for 350 degrees.

The time is NOW to seize this year's tomato harvest and enjoy some vine ripened, nutrient dense summer tomatoes. Now is your chance to get your little ones loaded up with vitamins, anti-oxidants and the joy that comes with waiting all year for the perfect summer fruit (or is it a veggie).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When Life gives you Lemons....

Make Lemon Bar Roll Ups!

Picnic season is officially here and this month we are reinvent one of our favorite summertime desserts: lemon bars! While Lemon Bars are an ooey gooey treat, they are definitely not picnic basket friendly. Try our version, Lemon Bar Roll Ups, that taste just as good without the mess, eggs and added fat. Plus they can be prepared in about 15 minutes!

Lemon Bar Roll Ups
1 Package of Crescent Rolls
2 Meyer Lemons thinly cut into rounds
1 Meyer lemon only to be used for the juice
½ cup of powdered sugar
¼ of stick of butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice 2 Meyer lemons into 1/4” rounds, then gently slice off the rinds and cut each slice in half.  

On a separate clean surface un-roll all of the crescent rolls and divide them into their triangle shapes. Brush each piece of dough with a generous amount of butter and then sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of powdered sugar over the butter.  Cover the powdered sugar with a small squeeze of the unsliced lemon.

Lay out two halves of the sliced lemon onto the dough and follow the crescent roll instructions to roll up the dough. Place all of the Lemon Roll Ups onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for about five minutes and dust with more powered sugar to finish.

Makes 8 rolls.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Get Our Perspective!

Here at Peas of Mind we love figuring out ways to make parent's lives easier and more fulfilling. We make all natural frozen food that's loaded with veggies and quick to prepare so that Moms and Dads don't have to worry about their picky eaters not getting enough veggies. This week Get Our Perspective is back a monthly blog post where we answer your questions about health, nutrition and overall wellness. 

This month Alison from Omaha, Nebraska wrote in and asked, "What are some easy ways to make sure that my children have a healthy summer? I'm doing my best to avoid marathon tv binges and too many trips to the ice-cream shop but what else can I do?"

Thanks for writing in Alison! The good news is the Peas Perspective is loaded with simple ways to make sure that your children stay active, healthy and happy during their summer break. Here is our "best of" list:

1) Bring your little ones into the kitchen.  With all the free time summer break has to offer, encouraging your kids to prepare healthy snacks and meals for themselves (with your help of course) is an easy way to spark interest in food and health that will last a lifetime.  With the right foods, time in the kitchen can feel as fun as craft time!  Here is a list of our best recipeas that encourage kids to play with their food (and then eat it!)
-Sandwich Sushi
-Breakfast Split
-Veggie Wedgies garlic fries
-Natural food coloring to decorate your favorite cookie recipe
-Healthy Fudgesicles
-Bug Juice

2) Stay Hydrated! During the warm summer months when kids are running around outside, it's so important to keep them hydrated with WATER.  If your children turn their noses up to good ol' H2O, check out our list of easy ways to get your little ones to guzzle water.

3) Take extra care of their skin! What's the largest organ in the body? That's right, your SKIN. So during these hot and humid months, your family's skin needs extra care.  Click here to find out three simple ways to take special care of your Epidermis this summer.

4) One of the best things about summer is having the time to devour a page-turning book. Encourage your little ones to fall in love with books this summer by following our post on summer reading.

5) We've said it before and we'll say it again, EAT SEASONALLY! Summertime is far and away the best time for produce; take a field trip to your local farmers market and let your family help pick out your weekly supply of fruits and vegetables.  Our number one produce choice this summer is the sweet and juicy peach, find out why here.

We'd love to feature your question next month! Simply email with your question, name and the city you're from and we'll give you our Peas Perspective!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Reinvented Fudgesicles

The 4th of July has come and gone and we are officially in the middle of summer!  Time for neighborhood block parties, slip n’ slide action, fireflies, camping trips and FUDGESICLES!  And because we’re Peas of Mind and love reinventing your favorite classic foods, we’re taking the cool and creamy fudgesicle and turning it into a treat that you can feel good about feeding your little ones any time they want a sweet treat. Peas of Mind’s reinvented fudgesicle’s are dairy-free, contain agave instead of sugar and because of the secret ingredient, avocado, our dessert is full of fiber, vitamin K, folate and B6.  Let’s celebrate June with some super food infused, super delicious: FUDGESICLES!

·       Ingredients:
1     1 large, very ripe avocado (or about 1 cup Avocado flesh)
·      1 cup almond milk
·      ¼ cup agave
·      1 tsp Vanilla extract
·      2 TBL cocoa powder
·      ½ tsp of salt (to stop ice crystals from forming)

Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The consistency should be that of slightly runny pudding.  Pour mixture into your favorite Popsicle mold. Freeze for about 6-8 hours.  Makes 4 Fudgesicles.