Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Moving Cross-Country and Paleo Spaghetti Pie

Some of you may know that we ( The children, the animals and Jeremy and myself) travelled (by vehicle) from Indiana to California recently.  To Live.  For three months.  Because we like to live on the edge…or something.  Taking a cross-country trip with your husband and children is a huge undertaking for normal  families but ours had just ended a long deployment where my husband was at sea form six months.  He came back after Christmas, we had a whirlwind visit with some family and we loaded our trailer as fast as humanly possible because IT. WAS. COLD.  and we headed off into the sunset (literally) for four days.  You guys, deployments are hard for numerous reasons mainly: WILL MY SPOUSE COMEBACK ALIVE AND WITH ALL HIS LIMBS ATTACHED?! And then there are the more subtle concerns like: I've been the sole parent for six months, that's NOT how I do it!  Sooooo, there is a little readjusting period.  We learned how to do this crazy dance as a team again.  So there was that.  A whole lot of me telling Jeremy: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!  And Jeremy all: GET OUT OF MY FACE, WOMAN, WHERE I'M FROM PEOPLE CALL ME SIR!

So, yeah, it takes some getting used to, but also, and I think even more importantly, road trips are how you know how much you love someone.  Because if you can ride in a stinky, crowded car with someone for two weeks, and not want to kill them, that's amore!  That's how I knew I loved Jeremy when we were dating.  We drove from Indiana to Mexico and back in 10 days and I could still stand the sight of him afterward.  AMORE!

Granted, this trip was a little different…many years later, I didn't have the luxury of napping in the car,  This time every time I would drift off someone inevitably needed a DRINK! or a POTTY BREAK! or THE DOG FARTED WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!  
Funny aside: At one point somewhere on the fourth and final day, someone (let's blame the dog) had terrible gas and Ari, holding the cat and trying not to gag, said, "Well, the cat has eight lives left."  She's funny, that one.  

And now here we are.  In our little apartment in the city.  Is this life even real?  Someone pinch me! (Didn't I say that in Guam too?) Outside of the homeless guy waking everyone every other morning screaming through the streets, it's near perfect.  I could write so much more about the whole journey.  About all the little details that I tucked away in my heart.  Those little gems in life that we only get when we really stop all the noise and just…live.  But right now I'm still decompressing.  I'm feeling all the feels…and there are so many of them. FEELINGS! So instead, let me tell yo about how we are transitioning from EAT ALL THE THINGS MADE OF BREAD AND SUGAR AT GRANDMA'S to: LET'S EAT CLEAN AND HEALTHY AGAIN!

You guys, my kids diet got so bad when Jeremy was deployed.  I know, I'm the lady on her food soapbox all the time but sometimes, you just have to put life on autopilot and do the best you can with what you have.  For me, that meant not arguing with my children over EVERYTHING and making them pretty much whatever they wanted for dinner.  HERE!  You want cereal?! Eat it!  But, as you can probably image, that did not end well.  

Jeremy came home, we drove a lot, ate many donuts and slices of pizza and then were all: NO MAS!  I feel like a pregnant hamster! So back to paleo we were to go as a family, but I wondered how to do it without making my children completely freak out.  PALEO SPAGHETTI PIE!  I modified some ingredients to for what I had on hand and to our tastes which I will note following link .  Click HERE for the recipe.

Here are my modifications: I don't like sausage as much in this recipe.  It's too fatty and I felt it made everything too soggy.  A key with convincing someone that Spaghetti Squash is actual spaghetti is texture and consistency.  So I used lean, grass-fed ground beef instead.  I also omitted the onion, simply because I didn't have one on hand, and lastly I added about a half a cup of parmesan on top.  Primal, not Paleo.  
It's me cooking in my (kind of mine) kitchen for my family for the first time in over six months.  

When my children asked what was for dinner I just said SPAGHETTI PIE!  YAY!!!  And luckily my excessive joy quelled their suspicions…orrrr it was actually just as delicious as I thought it was because BOTH of them ate it!  DUNDUNDUN! MIRACLES!  

I served it with a salad of mixed greens and what I had on hand…even though the grocery store is only two blocks away.  SERIOUSLY! Topped with a Balsamic Dressing by Emeril which I also modified to make Paleo/ Whole 30 friendly.  Recipe HERE. I omitted the sugar and added about a third a cup more balsamic.  

So here is dinner before we attacked it: 

 For the salad I added mixed greens, butter lettuce, grape tomatoes, English cucumber, a few chopped macadamia nuts, red onion, and a small sprinkling of organic Parmesan. 

And here is dinner afterwards:  Ellie, my pickiest eater had SECONDS!  And after Ari telling me she doesn't like hamburger, she left the table and then must have a had a Come To Jesus with herself in her room because she returned liking hamburger AFTER ALL and ate most of the food on her plate. 

The moral of the story is:  LIE TO YOUR KIDS!  No, just kidding.  Just be vague and moderately deceptive about what they are actually eating until they for sure love it and eat it all the time.  OR NEVER TELL until they're grown and ask for the recipe themselves and then: SHOCK AND AWE!  YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I WAS EATING A VEGETABLE THIS WHOLE TIME?!?!  What kind of horrible parent tricks their children in such a way?!

I also made this lemon and raspberry infused water because I picked nine million citrus fruits at my friend's house in Phoenix on the way here.  

Also, cats are apparently necessary to unload the dishwasher.  Whatever it takes, kid,  

Stay tuned for more news on the dietary reprogramming of our family and other current events that may or may not involve my FEELINGS!!!!!