Pumpkin Delights

It February already! Wow! I’m both shocked and excited because once we get through February we are over the hump for winter and spring is around the corner.   Despite it being February and we are officially past pumpkin season I noticed in our storage room how many cans of pumpkin we still have. May have over stocked this year but as you have seen from past blogs…we LOVE PUMPKIN!! The recipe below for Pumpkin Delights (had to come up with a name for these on the fly to boost excitement in my sleepy my girlies!!) came about from a kitchen scramble after realizing what little was left in the house for breakfast. Someone needs to hit the grocery store!! I was short on my gluten-free flour mix but we had a big old container of oats!   Given how many times we have had oats these past few weeks, knew I had to come up with something different and so these Pumpkin Delights were born. I was super excited and delighted (hence the name) to see how well these Pumpkin Delights turned out. … [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...]

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...]

Spicy Parsnip Soup

The weather has is grey and dreary, I am battling a head cold and as a result have little energy for fancy food prep plus I have a bag of parsnip and 2 sad carrots that need to get used ASAP! What to do? Why make a soup of course!! Soups are my go to lunches and sometimes dinners in the fall/winter because they are generally quick to throw together, easily digested and most importantly …. keep me warm! I find I am permanently cold in winter so my stove stop is often brewing, boiling, cooking something to warm me up! This soup is perfect in so many ways. It is creamy, smells amazing, a little spicy thanks to the ginger and fills me up! Parsnips are often a by passed veg but they are so similar to carrots only a little sweeter. Not sure why they get passed up! They go great in soup especially in ones like this one that is pureed, they lend a nice creamy texture to the soup. Parsnips are high in fiber, nutrients and minerals (super high in potassium). They are a good root vegetable … [Read more...]

Detox Oatmeal Cookie

Detox oatmeal cookies maybe I need to find a new name for this recipe because I know it sounds like an oxymoron right?? One should probably take a break from all cookies during a detox right?  Or what are you adding to these "treats". Stay with me!  We are still on a high from the fun of the festivities (and several helpings of pie, cookies and sweets), my kids get crazy grumpy when I suggest we take a break from dessert or treats.  Who wouldn't right?? Oats, chia and flax to the rescue!  Instead of saying we're going to skip dessert, I offer them some healthier options. These"detox" oatmeal cookies are my solution to the kiddos dessert while still giving them a good dose of fiber, healthy fats and vitamins. This is one of desserts or "treats" on rotation for the next few weeks and probably in the new year as well.  A simple and quick to make oatmeal cookie that can be made with or without the chocolate chips.  I made half the batch with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (2-3 chunks … [Read more...]