PLANNING EVENTS WITH KIDS WHO HAVE FOOD RESTRICTIONS

Going on 20 years now living with food allergies (or food restrictions), I have learned a lot. I am more confident today in how I manage meals outside of the house but it is still not without its challenges. I still get nervous asking a friend or relative if it’s ok if we bring our own food or prep something in their kitchen. There are always lots of questions, but it always turns out beautifully, and more often than not we introduce new food ideas to the people in our lives. As a parent the most challenging social settings for me to navigate around is birthday parties or events outside of a home, where the typical foods are off-limits for the girls.   I used to dread birthday parties because my little one would get very upset about being left out, not being able to have the birthday cake or pizza, even though she knew it made her sick. She HATED being the idea of bringing a safe, special cupcake or snack because she would be different. She doesn’t like to stand out or be noticeably … [Read more...]

Warm French Lentils

Years ago, I made a Warm French Lentils dish on a whim when we had my former boss and his wife over for dinner. We served it along with freshly caught scallops, some greens and a good bottle of wine. The scallops were supposed to be the star of the meal but these lentils literally stole the show. While cooking, they made our house smell so amazing the guests asked if we could skip appetizers and go straight to dinner!   Their our mouths were watering! I have since tweaked the recipe a little, to use turkey bacon instead (which the girls preferred and is easy to get nitrate free!). The recipe below for French Lentils has become a regular on our rotation and a meal the girls request often.  So popular it was even requested as their birthday dinner meal and as a Christmas eve dinner. There are many lentils out there but the best lentils to use for this is are Puy.  Puy lentils are very small and dark in color and are from an area of France called Le Puy in the Auvergne (hence … [Read more...]

Crunchy Millet Granola

School is back in session this week and I've got our morning meals ready to go with a new yummy homemade granola! Love having something quick and easy to serve the kiddos in the morning that will fuel their growing bodies and expanding minds.  Cereal used to be my go-to but I have a love/hate relationship with cereal as a mom. I love that it provides a quick, objection-less meal for kids in the morning but I don’t love the sugar content and nutritionally low quality of the ingredients that you find in your typical cereal. Despite its limiting qualities, I do have to say that I really LOVE cereal.  I’m an honest recovering cereal addict. I could eat a bowl (or two) for three meals a day, every day and be sooo happy! I just LOVE the stuff!! This is where knowledge gets in the way, but knowing what I do about nutrition and what growing young bodies need, I had to cut off our family’s relationship with packaged cereal for breakfast. For years cereal was not only a meal, but also a … [Read more...]

Chicken Rice Soup

This Chicken Rice Soup is probably one of the easiest homemade recipes.  You drop the items in a big soup pot and literally step away while it cooks.  This is a great recipe to make ahead of time for a quick and easy meal when you have no time to spare.  Using homemade Chicken Broth makes the chicken rice soup incredibly medicinal, healing and just what the doctor ordered if you are feeling under the weather.  Of course using boxed chicken broth or stock cubes is also great and makes this soup even faster to whip up! This version of chicken rice soup is a basic one but one that you can add to or modified depending on what you have on hand and your tastes. For a fun variation, try swapping the rice with your favorite pasta or quinoa for a little extra protein. To make this soup vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and the chicken with some chickpeas or black beans.  Try adding in some extras to spice things up (a little red pepper flakes), top it with some … [Read more...]

Chicken Broth

One of the easiest staples to have on your back burner….literally! Homemade chicken broth is one of the easiest things to throw together, takes no skill or fancy kitchen equipment, just a little bit of your time to reap the benefits. Vegetable or chicken broths are great to have on hand to cook beans or grains, throw into sauces, stews or to turn into the base of a soup. The longer cooking time will give you a rich medicinal broth that is perfect as a base for a meal or to simply sip on throughout the day. ONCE YOU LEARN HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN BROTH YOU WILL BE HOOKED! So save those chicken bones and unused vegetables that you were thinking of tossing. Instead throw them into a big pot with some water and a few spices. The chicken broth recipe below is a robust one that will pack in the nutrients, like medicine in a pot. No need to peel things, just chop them up to fit in the pot.  If I don't have all the ingredients listed (or the time to chop) I use a simpler version to make … [Read more...]

Vegetable Curry in a Hurry

There is nothing like a hot bowl of vegetable curry !  Having parents who grew up in London, meant curries were a regular in our meal rotation when I was a kid. Indian also became a favorite of my dearest Maman, who was French to the bone, but having lived in England for most of her life, learned to love a good curry. When I was growing up, curries were usually reserved for a weekend meal when Dad would hit the nearby Indian spice shop to stock up on the requisite spices and Indian treats like poppadoms he couldn’t get from our local grocer. Attracted by the exotic fragrances of the spices, us kids were pulled into the kitchen by the delicious smells, eager to help out and be the official taste-testers to help judge how spicy our dinner should be! Dad didn’t usually cook from a recipe but relied on his vivid memory of the curries he had as a young man and the lessons he learned from the Indian grocer below his flat in London who first introduced him to Indian food. Fast forward … [Read more...]

Lentil Bolognese Pasta Sauce

Don't know about you but I have nights when I am scrambling to get dinner together.  I love having this Lentil Bolognese Sauce on hand either in the freezer or ready to go.  It's a regular in our pasta night rotation.  Try making this on nights (or days) when you need something hearty, healthy and filling when you don’t have a ton of time on your hands. The sauce comes together in less than 20 minutes, serves well over traditional pasta, gluten-free varieties, on pizza, in lasagna or even over steamed vegetables. Lentil Bolognese is rich in fiber, high in plant-based protein and a ton of vitamins and minerals.  This simple recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket when you want something new but quick and easy! Can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.   Lentil Bolognese is a great alternative for Meatless Mondays or when you want something a little more substantial than a basic marinara.  For any pickier guests at your table, puree the sauce … [Read more...]