Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Before we had kids we used to make our vinaigrettes or dressings on the fly or if we were in a rush or being lazy we would just throw a little vinegar over our greens and be done. But since having kids I’ve embraced the idea of planning ahead and making more things in bulk for quick meal to put together meals. This one thing alone I swear helps keep my evening meals less chaotic and stressful. Even when I think I have tons of time something comes up or Mama’s attention is needed. So am babbling here I know! I now try to make a kid friendly and sometimes separate, adult friendly dressing I can throw on salads over roasted veg or dip bread into. Below is my basic vinaigrette, which I sweeten with maple syrup or honey to make more palatable for the girls. I like to change up the oils I use. Sometimes I mix a few tablespoons of olive oil with flaxseed oil or hemp oil or at the moment I am loving Udi's Oil DHA 3-6-9 Blend which is an award winning, plant-based (vegan) non-GMO omega … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Fava Bean Brown Rice Salad

My kids like their rice plain or only with a little tamari if given the choice. The funny thing is they will eat rice dishes in restaurants but at home it’s a different story. I’m always looking for new ways to do rice and love the idea of rice salads for Hubby and I. Earlier this week we went to the beach and brought a picnic dinner and I thought it was the perfect time to try something new. Usually beach picnics go two ways: I have to either drag them out of the water to eat and re-charge, or they charge at me wanting a quick meal. I had been marinating my Maple Miso Mustard Chicken to cook and bring along so I thought I’d try a cold rice dish with Asian flavors. Given my soy sensitivity, instead of using edamame I tried the dish with fava beans instead. It turned out great and the girls loved it, though they did say I might have put too much orange flavor in (recipe has been adjusted!!). Try this out for your next picnic or summer dinner. Travels well and great for lunch … [Read more...]

Pomegranate Baby Kale Salad with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

In spring-summer my go-to lunch is a salad. Rarely the same one, often thrown together with last night’s left-overs or veggies and beans we prepped Sunday night. I love creating a pseudo-salad bar in my fridge where I can just reach in and throw different items together for lunch. Today’s lunch is an example of that. I had bought pomegranate arils for Twin A who put them in our cart at Trader Joe’s on Sunday but hasn’t “been in the mood” to eat them all week so not wanting them to spoil I threw them into our salad! Love the pop of color and crunch they provide plus the hint of sweetness.   These little gems are known to be one of the oldest fruits, originally found in Persia. It has long been toted as a fruit very rich in antioxidants, nutrients and a symbol of vitality, fertility and health. A delicious add-on to today’s lunch! I have always loved mushrooms and often pick them out of a stew or tomato sauce when no one is looking. I just love ‘em!! Portobellos though, were never a … [Read more...]

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

I had some girlfriends over for lunch last week, something I love to do. Entertaining is a different story when it’s a smaller group of adults versus a few families. I love to do both but it was bit more relaxing to just prep food for a few other moms. One of my friends is vegetarian and another is a tri-athlete often training for the next big race. I wanted to make something that would suit everyone, taste delicious and not require a lot of heavy lifting in the kitchen. I drafted up several menus beforehand, which is typical me, even for a casual small lunch I still had so many ideas and plans, but I kept coming back to this easy, delicious quinoa salad. I love quinoa for so many reasons: taste, texture, its filling, quick to cook, very versatile, gluten-free, a great source of vegan protein, plus it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa, unlike most grains (though technically it is a seed) is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino … [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...]

Collard Greens Slaw

One of my favorite things about spring is the many delicious foods it brings.  Don’t get wrong I love my fall fruits and veg (apples, pumpkins, root veg, etc.) but there is something so refreshing about spring produce!!  Probably has a lot to do with where I live.  Maybe if I lived in a warmer climate I wouldn’t get so excited seasonal foods or about the seasons changing but there is something magical in the air when the snow has melted, days get warmer, a smell of the BBQs in the breeze at dinner time and seeing the kids out playing with neighbors they haven’t seen much of over the winter months.  It makes the winters not seem so bad. I am a big fan of a big salad bowl lunch or dinner.  It’s pretty much what I have throughout the spring and summer months.  I don’t really have a favorite or even one that I do on a regular basis.  I am always changing it up based on what I have on hand or what I am craving.  I find my cravings (or what my body needs) changes depending on the season, … [Read more...]