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I'm Mama Harris, the wife and mother to a large blended and multicultural family. In my lifetime I've been a single mom, a step-mom, a working mom and now a stay at home mom. My kids range in age from toddler to newly adult and I write about my kitchen adventures and the variety of foods and recipes I feed my family at From the Kitchen of Mama Harris. I've experienced all aspects of mommy-hood and look forward to sharing my kitchen tips, tricks, recipes and shortcuts!

Healthy Smoothies On The Go!

Categories: breakfast, healthy, time savers

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There’s one thing that I can enjoy with my whole family, and that’s a delicious and healthy smoothie. If you’ve invested in a great blender like I suggested here, then whipping up a healthy and tasty treat is a snap! Kids love the varieties of colors and flavors and you can even sneak in a few healthy fruits and vegetables to make them even better for everyone. It’s a win/win!

I’ve created two great bases for an endless variety of tastiness. I typically just use whatever I have on hand, so most of the time I never have the same smoothie twice. The two recipes I’m sharing both pack a punch in the nutritional sense, you can add nonfat greek yogurt, soy milk, juice, or even other vegetables to suit your tastes.

The green smoothie has a crisp and fresh taste, perfect for Spring and summer, while the banana-berry smoothie carries a wealth of antioxidants and has a traditional berry taste. Both are delicious and nutritious and great for having as an easy meal on the go.

Banana-Berry Smoothie Ingredients:

  • 6 large strawberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice
Just blend everything up until smooth, then serve in two glasses (serves 2).
Refreshing Green Smoothie Ingredients:
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 small banana
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2-3 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ice
Just blend everything up until smooth, then serve in two glasses (serves 2).
Tips for healthy smoothies
  • try to use neutral tasting ingredients for the healthy additions, if you’re using berries and bananas add kale, carrots, even chia seeds for extra health benefits without changing the taste of your smoothie
  • Make sure everything you’re adding is healthy and not light on nutrients. Celery might be a great idea for a green smoothie, but there’s other ingredients you can add that have many more nutritional benefits.
  • If you’re adding ingredients like juice, yogurt and milk, be sure you’re checking the labels. It’s easy to have a healthy smoothie go completely unhealthy by adding the wrong ingredients. The idea here is high vitamin, high protein, low sugar, low fat.
What are some of your favorite smoothie combinations?

No Meat? No Problem! Easy Meatless Dinner Recipes

Categories: healthy, meal prep, recipes

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For a long time in my house a meal would not be considered dinner unless meat was a primary ingredient. If there was no meat in the house, I just couldn’t make dinner.

Can you imagine?

Now we like to play around with a variety of ingredients, sometimes substituting meat and sometimes letting the vegetables and other ingredients get all the glory. I’ve recently noticed a “Meatless Monday” theme as well, just as a way to cut down on meat and ante up on vegetables and I was intrigued. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and your family by creating some classic favorites and swapping out ingredients to cut the meat out with ingredients that are normally stocked in your kitchen.

If you’re looking to build your meatless Monday repertoire, then check out three of my favorite meatless recipes.
P.S. The lasagna roll ups are my 2 year olds favorite!


Black Bean Meatless Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • dash of cumin
  • corn tortillas, taco size
  • 4 diced roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese/Monterey jack cheese mixture
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes
Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in medium skillet.
  2. Add chopped onions and sauté until softened.
  3. Add drained beans, garlic salt and cumin. Combine and heat through.
  4. Warm tortillas.
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4 Tips for Healthy Meal Planning on a Budget

Categories: budget, healthy, meal prep

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Since the holidays are now over and the New Year has kicked into full swing, one of the most common goals is making better food choices and eating more healthy. As a busy mom, however, I understand that sometimes convenience outweighs smart choices and that’s how we can get sucked back into those bad habits. Believe me, I know first hand.

No matter what your goal is, whether you plan on cooking more at home, eating more salads or just avoiding the drive through altogether - I’m here to help. I’ve compiled a short list of tips to help you continue to make good choices for yourself and your family without breaking the bank.

  • Write a shopping list. If you know what you are going shopping for, you are less likely to make impulsive purchases. Plan ahead, clip coupons and check the sales ads for your favorite stores. Write down the prices of your favorite items and comparison shop. I typically shop at least three stores a week to get the best deals. Tip: only do your grocery shopping when you’ve already eaten!
  • Stay on the outer aisles. Have you noticed that most grocery stores have all their fresh fruit, produce, bulk items and generally healthier stuff on the outer regions of the store layout. If you go down the aisles that’s where most of the processed foods that are boxed or canned are found. Try to stick to the outer circle for the majority of your trip, only going down the aisles for the necessary items on your list. Some folks shop by going up and down each aisle, but that is also how impulse buys happen.
  • Find local Farmer’s Markets. In a few months the local farmer’s markets will be opening up, take advantage of some fresh local produce while also getting to know your local farmers. You’re likely to score some excellent deals while making it a learning experience for your kids.
  • Stick to your budget. When I shop I usually allocate a certain dollar amount for groceries, and I’ll only bring that amount in cash. I use my calculator on my phone and add each item while shopping and sticking to my list. If I come up under budget, then I’ll grab a few extra items I may decide on purchasing. This is always a guarantee to not overspend and you really get to know your prices on all products.
There’s a myth out there that in order to eat well you have to spend a lot. This is just not the case, you just have to shop smart and know your local stores and prices
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What are some of your favorite tips for healthy food shopping on a budget?

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