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...]

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee is a classic French comfort food. It’s also called Tarragon Chicken in English. This dish is simply Chicken and vegetables simmered in a delicious wine and tarragon sauce. There are many variations of this dish, most of which are finished off with a dollop of cream. Given the strong dairy-allergy in our house, we have adapted our version to be dairy-free. The sauce is thickened by kuku, a smooth, neutral flavored starch naturally extracted from the roots of a Japanese mountain plant. Not traditionally French, I know, but this root has so many redeeming qualities. It is commonly used to treat minor indigestion and common cold symptoms and is also used to stimulate appetite, help with slow digestion and for its calming effect. We used it often in our kitchen and in place of cornstarch or flour as a thickener.   Just be sure to always dissolve it in cool liquid before adding it to anything hot. This will allow it to dissolve best into the stew. This dish can be served … [Read more...]

Quinoa Cakes

I was recently re-tested for food sensitivities. I have been battling with inflammation over the past few months and what I was doing/trying didn’t seem to reduce things. So this time I did a much more in-depth test and the results were, well shocking. I feel a little like I am allergic/sensitive to all of my favorite foods (apples, pears, beets, avocados, dates, spinach, kiwi, tomatoes, etc.) only to name a few. I was left shocked, pissed off and not really sure what I was going to eat for the next 3-6 months (the time period recommended to “cleanse” system from such sensitivities). A day or so later, as I was still digesting what I was and was not allowed to consume, I flipped open one of my cookbook to find a recipe to make for dinner. I was truly surprised to find that most of the recipes that I had created over the years, are recipes filled with ingredients I am not sensitive to.   Going back to what I did years ago when I first starting creating these recipes, I would once … [Read more...]

Salade Niçoise

In summer I often crave a big salad bowl. A bowl or dish that has it all: a little protein, some healthy fats, starches, fresh herbs and vegetables and maybe even a handful of legumes. Salade Niçoise is my go-to when I have such cravings. It really is a one bowl (or plate) fits all meal. I discovered while living in this region (such a lucky girl!!) that the original or authentic Salade Niçoise is a little different than what we see today in North America. It didn’t have cooked eggs, potatoes or even green beans, nor did they use vinegar or tuna!! Like most recipes it did change over time as the agriculture changed and industrialization occurred. Though nowadays the standard recipe would include lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, olives, eggs, tuna and anchovies and often some potatoes. I was told by several French chefs, what “a real” Salade Niçoise should look like, but each version was slightly different depending on where I was around Nice. The key being they all used the freshest, … [Read more...]

Maple Miso Mustard Chicken

I whipped this up for the first time to take with us to the beach. My kids HATE sandwiches for dinner, and we have been going to the beach late afternoon this summer, right after camp is over and when the sun isn’t at it’s hottest and the beach isn’t the busiest. I found out the hard way, trying to leave the beach around 530’ish is always tough for two reasons:  1) we hit the worst evening traffic and 2) the kids are starving! So to avoid (or at least reduce the chances) of a melt down on the drive home or grumpy demands to hit the nearest restaurant for dinner, I have been bringing dinner with us. This also means we have a picnic dinner, another item on our “must do this summer” list. If I have the forethought to marinate this ahead of time its best marinated overnight or at least for a few hours but in a pinch 30 minutes will do. This marinade also works well with salmon, mahi-mahi or other wild, milder fish. I do the recipe soy-free given a sensitivity but you are welcome to use … [Read more...]

Vegan Buckwheat Coconut Risotto

When we used to eat out more often, Risotto was one of those dishes that my husband jumped at ordering if he saw it on a menu.  It was always made with butter, cheese and sometimes a cream or milk that put this dish on the “do not eat” list for someone like me with dairy allergies.  When we first starting dating I thought he ordered this because he didn’t want to share his food, which was fine because to me it was just a bowl of rice sometimes topped with a seafood or meat.  It didn’t entice or appeal to me much but I’d be a little curious when I watched his reaction to this dish.  For the good risottos, his reaction reminded me of an Italian operatic “AHHHHHH AHHHHH”!!  Pure delight, satisfaction and culinary bliss.  He would rave about the risotto and savored it with his wine.  Was it really that good?  What makes this rice dish so amazing?  We tried a few times to make a vegan version at home but I was never blown away by it nor could I make a meal of our it.  Rob reported that … [Read more...]

Red Lentil Dahl with Baby Kale

This weather thing has me and my body never knowing what to expect!! This year’s spring and summer so far, have been all over the place. Lots of rain with bouts of sunshine then colder days, then repeat with the rain again. Can’t we just have a hot and sunny summer universe? We didn’t complain too much about the horrible winter you gave us, Mr. Sun please shine down on me! I came downstairs this morning to a super cold kitchen after leaving the kitchen window open last night. It was +87F degree yesterday after all. But this morning it was chilly, rainy and grey. Today was my “rest day” from working out with Tracy Anderson, so my body really craved something warm and healing for lunch. The girls slept in and the hubby is out of town for work, so I got some time this morning to myself, sacred time for me! My favorite time to prep things is in the morning in a quiet kitchen. This gives me time to think, plan and just start the day out on the right foot. Washing, chopping, prepping food … [Read more...]

Rainbow salad

With two young girls, our lives are very colorful to say the least. It’s hard to imagine life without them.  My twins are very colorful little people and big artists, always creating something...very colorful of course!  To play on their love of color, I like to talk with them about why it important for us to eat lots of colorful foods, and play the "rainbow plate" game (see past post) or when we go to the grocery store or market to pick out the most colorful fruit and veggies they can find.  It’s a fun way to teach them about healthy food and for them to try new versions of things, something which is not always easy with young kids. I love coming back from the store this time of year and throwing to together what ever I have and making a “rainbow salad”, sorry not always good at coming up with names for my salad bowls but they really are rainbow salads!  One tip I'll pass on which is nothing new but that I have found to be incredibly helpful is to pre-chop some items ahead of … [Read more...]

Salmon Arugula Salad

Today’s lunch was one of those meals where I hadn’t thought ahead last night or even this morning to what I was going to have. My Sunday nights are usually spent running around getting things ready for school and work the next day (cleaning up Sunday dinner, finishing laundry, making sure homework folder and any school forms are back in backpacks, packing lunches, prepping after school activities, getting clothes out for the next day, making sure phones are charged, etc.) I can forget or don’t have time to get myself in order. While I think it is so important for Moms to take time to look after themselves, organize the things we need to do, schedule in your exercise time and plan out your meals, life often throws us a curve ball and things don’t go as we planned. For me, when I don’t have a meal thought out or I am rushed my meals usually go one of two ways: I spend the meal munching on little bites of this or that, often including too many starchy foods or less than ideal, low … [Read more...]