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 … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Espresso Balls

I am not a big coffee drinker, tea is my jam, but sometimes I smell my husbands cup and I crave a little or there are definitely mornings when I need a little extra something to get me going in the morning.  And a chocolate sweet treat....need I say anything about that?  Hmm nope!  These banging espresso balls cover all these bases.  Naturally sweetened by the dates with a little protein and omega-3 kick from the walnuts plus the antioxidants from the raw cacao powder. Seriously why don't I make these espresso balls more often??  I love to make a batch of two of my espresso balls, place them in a labeled container and store them in the freezer so I can grab a few when ever I need them.  I do the same with my sunflower butter balls, carrot cake balls and protein balls which the kids can grab whenever they want a snack or something a little extra to keep them going. With Christmas just days away, these espresso balls were made for that magical morning when already my early bird risers … [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...]