Meal Plan & Prep

One of the things I love doing most in my work is helping busy moms, dads or anyone really, learn how to meal plan and prep and set up an on going practice of healthy eating. Giving them the tools to plan out their weeks and incorporate healthy homemade meals that they and their families love. Replacing the frozen meals or take out with easy to throw together meals full of wholesome, real foods which provide the body with nutrients, fiber, vitamins and all the good stuff nature provides us. My goal for you is easy: healthy food without the stress or drama of deciding what to cook or eat. So here’s my secret weapon, well not really secret, but my key to easy healthy meals is: Menu Planning and Meal Prep. These two things I promise you are the key to not only save you lots of time but also money and a whole lot of stress too. It will take out the “what to eat” or “what do I feel like cooking” questions off the table every night. The steps are easy, not intimidating and even turn the … [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...]

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...]

Kale & Sausage Soup

Tuscan Kale & Lentil Stew with chicken sausage Winter in Chicago just wouldn’t be winter without a polar vortex!  Baby it's cold outside and it's time to dream of Tuscany and make a hearty Tuscan Kale & Lentil Stew!!   I love how we now use marketing buzz words seasonal weather! I grew in Canada where we simply call this kind of weather WINTER!! Hahaha!! Nonetheless as Christmas nears not even this incoming blast of cold can change the spirits at our house.  With this cold front coming in and a thousand things to do better the big day, I wanted something quick and easy to make that we could all enjoy. Every morning the girls count the number of days on the calendar left until the big night that good old Santa will make his annual visit. They have had me check the chimney to make sure it’s clean (even though we have an electric fireplace) and clear for him to come down. The lead up to the big day is almost as exciting as the big day itself with the final week of school … [Read more...]

Thai Chicken Burgers

Inspired by GOOP’s burgers, I whipped these up on a Friday night for my kiddos, along side my Thai Veggie Burgers for the hubby and me. The little ladies had just gotten fitted with their expanders from their orthodontist so I wasn’t sure if they would eat much of anything but these burgers were a big success!! We shared the extra two burgers with our neighbors who had had a long week and were too exhausted to even think about cooking. Just love sharing good food with good friends! These paired well with usual burger fare: oven fries and finger veggies, but I could also see making these into little meatballs and serving them with a stir-fry, some Healthy Fried Rice or Fava Brown Rice Salad. Thai Chicken Burgers Delicious on a hamburger bun or in a large leaf lettuce roll.  Option to top burger with a drizzle of sriracha or a spicy Asian mustard dipping sauce, or as my eldest did, good old fashioned ketchup!!  Though can’t (won’t) say how the latter would taste!  These are … [Read more...]

Lucky Leek Soup

Lucky Leek Soup

My Dad frequently made Potage Parmentier or Leek and Potato soup. He was often whipping up soups for weekend lunches for us throwing in what ever we had on hand and needed to be used up. This soup was on regular rotation as soon as the cooler weather set up. Though I am usually not a fan of heavier potato based soups, this one is a different story. It is incredibly filling, smooth and creamy, despite having no dairy of any sort in it. It’s thanks to the potatoes that it has the consistency it does. Plus it is quick to put together and only contains a few ingredients. My challenge with this soup was getting the kids to eat it. Like many kids, they turned up their nose at this bowl of cream stuff. Immediately saying they didn’t like it even though I promised they would. I even added a little extra salt to their bowls given their love for anything salty! But every time there was a fight. Then one day I had left over pasta from last night’s dinner and I thought, would they eat it if … [Read more...]

Thai Veggie Burger

Thai food if a regular theme of our menu board. The girls have grown up eating Thai, largely because hubby and I love this delicious cuisine and in part because we had a Thai nanny for a while when the girls were young. She loved talking to the girls about her home country and to take the girls out for Thai with us. Now at first the girls version of Thai was chicken satay and plain rice or bean thread noodles, but over time they graduated to Pad Woon Sen (bean thread noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and veg), spring rolls, Tom Yum soup ( sweet & sour broth soup with veg and noodles). I love watching their taste buds develop, flourish and get used to spicier meals. With two parents who LOVE spicy foods, it was only a matter of time before these kids embraced spices! Slowly we are getting there and it has been fun watching them try and love new dishes. Back to today’s inspired meal! We saw a Thai flavored turkey burger on a menu recently and the flavors looks (and smelled) … [Read more...]