family dinner guide – week 2

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, nutrition, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMWe’d like to welcome back Belinda DiGiambattista!  

She’s checking in to see how preparing dinner last week went for you. Did you find it challenging, manageable, intimidating or fun? Share your stories with us!

Belinda has planned out another week of nutritious family dinners for you. Keep up that momentum, and have fun cooking!   

“What’s for dinner?” – Week 2

Welcome to week two of your new commitment to creating healthy, planned-ahead dinners for your family!

With all the effort you put into Sunday’s prep work, it had to be satisfying when you walked in the door every evening around 6pm to know the answer to the question, “what’s for dinner?” That said, Sunday was a lot of work. Last week’s secret was to not have to ‘think’ about dinner during the week, and this week’s secret is getting the prep done with a little extra support.

My secret weapon for getting all the prep done is my wonderful babysitter. She comes over once a week to finish up any prep that I was unable to get to. I provide her with the same instructions described in my blog post, and she arrives while the kids are still at school so that she can focus on preparing the food.

Getting help from time to time, whether it’s a babysitter, your family or friends, is certainly a life changing experience.

5472456147_e69e8c7f1bThis week, our menu is:

Monday:  Sole, steam julienned vegetables, kale salad, and brown rice (or wild rice)

Tuesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Turkey tacos with pico de gallo

Wednesday:  Cheese frittata (optional: add spinach and/or ham), side of broccoli, side salad and an optional side of bacon or veggie bacon

Thursday – One Pot:  Black bean quinoa with red bell peppers

Friday: Whole wheat cheese ravioli with marinara sauce served with a salad and crudités

This week’s Grocery List for a family of four is right here. Plan to have these items in the house by Saturday evening and you are ready to go. Planning – check. Groceries – check. What’s for dinner? – check.

Here is your personal Sunday prep for the week as well as your Nightly Prep Guide that will take the guess work out of every night.

Have fun.

Good luck.

And enjoy homemade meals every night of the week!

Photo courtesy of LifeSupercharger

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green rice bowl

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in fast food, healthy food, local food, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal | 2 comments


It’s lunch time, and you don’t know what to make?

Try out this recipe!

It will fill you up with a nice amount of green veggies, along with whole grains, protein, polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E.

All in one neat little bowl!

Here’s how to make it:

Serves 1 – Prep time 5 minutes – Total time (45 minutes for rice) + 15 minutes


  • 1/4 C brown rice
  • 3/4 C water
  • a few pieces of broccoli
  • 3 asparagus spears
  • handful of peas
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • generous sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • pinch of sea salt


1. Prep your ingredients: Add rice and water, bring to a boil then to a simmer. Cook for 40-45 minutes. Rinse your veggies. Chop broccoli into small pieces, snap off bottoms of asparagus then chop into pieces, take out fresh or fresh-frozen peas.

2. Steam your veggies: In a pot, add a steamer basket and about 2 inches of water. Add in broccoli first, steam for 3 minutes. Then add in asparagus, steam for 2 minutes, then peas, steaming for another 2 minutes.

3. Assemble your bowl: Add cooked rice to a bowl, top with steamed veggies. Drizzle sesame oil and mix. Top with sesame seeds and sea salt. Enjoy!

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family dinner guide – week 1

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, fast food, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMWe’d like to introduce our guest blogger, Belinda DiGiambattista who is the Co-Founder + CEO of Butter Beans. 

As a busy working mom of two, she understands the demands of fixing up homemade and nutritious dinners for her family. In her post, she outlines a dinner plan for the week ahead, providing you with tips, recipes and a grocery list for your family.  

“What’s for dinner?”

Monday to Friday, many working parents come home after picking up their child(ren) from daycare or school and find themselves and their children asking that same question, day after day. To quote Twist from The Fresh Beat Band, “Wouldn’t it be cool if,… we had our very own personal chef come to our home every day and prepare a homemade, healthy, yummy meal that we could all sit down and enjoy at 6:15 pm every night!” Yes, that would be very cool. But outside of this fantasy, there are solutions that can help busy parents achieve that same result without the personal chef.

Starting this week, I will be your personal dinner organizer, helping you kick off the weekend with a well thought out plan to have your meals ready to go every night of the week.

I too am a busy working mom of two beautiful children 3 and 6 (almost 7) years old. I also have the added pressure of owning a healthy school lunch company so everyone expects me to do this uber-well. I, too am human and often have to figure it out at the last minute. But working at Butter Beans has certainly upped my ‘figure-it-out’ quotient and I am happy to share my secrets.

The key to smooth nightly dinners is planning ahead.

If you know what you will serve every night for Monday to Friday, you can have the easy recipes in hand, order the grocery list online from Fresh Direct or visit your local grocer and be completely prepared.

If you know in advance you have to cut up 2 onions, chop three carrots and wash the parsley, you can work it into your time already spent in the kitchen when making weekend breakfasts, lunches, etc. and you are way ahead of the game.

Not having to ‘think’ about what’s for dinner during the week will change your life.

5046234070_6dc9501e41This week, our menu is:

Monday:  Salmon, succotash, garden salad, and whole grain rolls.

Tuesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Mac n cheese, broccoli, baked chicken cutlets.

Wednesday:  Meatballs OR Seared Tofu with brown rice mixed with sautéed kale, carrots and tamari and sesame kale salad.

ThursdayVegetable chili with fixins’ served with brown rice or whole grain bread.

Friday: Panini Night! Make a list of your kids’ favorite ingredients and add veggies to make a fun, healthy pressed sandwich on whole grain bread that your whole family will enjoy. Add sides that pack more colors and vitamins to leave you all satisfied. Our family’s go to panini ingredients are pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and ciabatta bread.

Now the fun part begins, figuring out how to procure the ingredients and actually cook these items. I have created a grocery list for a family of four to get you started. Plan to have these items in the house by Saturday evening and you are ready to go. Planning – check. Groceries – check. What’s for dinner? – check.

Here is a suggested guide for the Sunday prep for the week, along with a nightly prep guide that will take the guess work out of every night.

Have fun.

Good luck.

And enjoy homemade meals every night this week!

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, comment on our blog, or tweet us to let us know how it went!

Photo courtesy of Manuel W.

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food tracking

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Food for thought, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, wellness | 0 comments

photo-39“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” – Anthelme Brillat Savarin

If it’s true that we are what we eat, what food or foods would you be?

If answering that question poses a challenge for you, then it might be time to take an inventory of what you eat.

Have you every kept a food journal? Try tracking what you eat, just for one day.

One day may change your whole outlook.

See how tracking your food intake may change the way in which you consume.

It’s simple.

No need for charts or graphs, just a piece of paper, pen and some mindfulness – keeping in mind to temper your judgements, and view your journal objectively, with an open and curious mind that is eager to learn.

Do you keep a food journal? If so, has it made an impact on your life?

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busy day hummus sandwich

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in fast food, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, lunch time, Recipes, wellness | 2 comments

photo-37So you’re rushing out of your house, and don’t want to eat out for lunch.

What to do?

Grab some bread and hummus, chop up carrots, kale, onions and red cabbage. Bring them along to work, then create your sandwich on the spot.

It shouldn’t take longer than 7 minutes to make a phenomenal tasting, and healthy vegetarian sandwich during your busy work week.

Here’s how:

Serves 1 – Prep time: 3 minutes – Total time: 7 minutes


  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2-3 tbsp hummus
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 leaf of kale
  • 2 small slivers of red cabbage
  • 2 small slivers of onion


1. Prep your ingredients: Slice your bread, place in a baggie to bring to work. Scoop hummus into a jar. Rinse your veggies, cut your carrots into matchsticks or rounds, slice your kale and cabbage into small strips, dice your onion. Place all veggies into another jar.

2. Assemble on-site: Give yourself 4 minutes to assemble your already prepped sandwich. Layer hummus on the bottom, onions right on top, then kale, cabbage and carrots. It might not be the neatest sandwich, but it sure will be the tastiest!

You will be glad you brought lunch from home, and you might just spark a home prepped lunch revolution!

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