Celery Juice & Morning Juices for Children

Juicing first thing in the day can be intimidating, at least for me it is because the juicer itself can seem like a beast to clean!!  Even simple juices, like celery juice mean extra clean up than a fruit bowl or quick smoothie.  As a hurried Mom in the mornings the clean up in itself is often why I don't juice every day. But when I take the time to build a less rushed AM routine and decide to juice (usually when hubby is around to help clean up), I feel so amazing, energized and for the rest of the day my eating is usually cleaner and I have overall better digestion. The kiddos also LOVE fresh juice!!  My children waking up to their morning juices and would happily have me make them a big glass of apple juice every morning.  While I love making them fresh juice, I don't love all the concentrated sugar they get from the apple juice alone so I dilute by adding in a cucumber or a few stalks of celery per apple used.  They don't taste the veggies and still get their fresh … [Read more...]

Kale Stem Pesto (vegan)

Given the amount of kale we consume on a weekly basis in salads, smoothies or chips, we throw out a lot of kale stems!  Historically, I would toss most straight in the trash but I was inspired by recipe I saw on Rachel Ray to put these kale stems to use in a pesto!  My version below, is dairy-free or vegan given our allergies in our house but one could easily add in a little grated parmesan. I now store the kale stems in a resealable bag on my freezer door until it's full then use them to whip up a quick pesto to throw on a pasta salad, spread on a sandwich, serve as a pasta main dish or to mix into roasted or steamed vegetables.  Pesto is a wonderful and easy thing to freeze in ice cube trays and have on the ready for quick meals or to stir into stir-fry or stews as added seasoning. … [Read more...]

Nutritionally Nice Nutella

Every Christmas my Mum would buy a box of Ferraro Rocher chocolates for an evening treat.  Us kids would anticipate the moment when she would reach up on to the high shelf in our kitchen cupboard and bring down the hazelnut delights.  Savoring every bite I would eat mine off in layers, eating the outer chocolate-nut coating, gently nibbling the wafer-like interior to get to the rich hazelnut cream that has my mouth watering now!  Ohh did I love that interior gooeyness!!  I wished for just a spoonful of just that alone! Little did I know that Nutella was essentially just that! Nutella is undoubtedly the best tasting and marketed hazelnut spread on the market.  Traditionally Italians spread this on bread or toast for breakfast but these days people make ice cream, cakes, cookies, serve it on crepes, sandwiches, you name it.  My husband discovered Nutella while we honeymooned in Italy having it every morning with his cappuccinos.   While delicious, Nutella is dessert-like, high in … [Read more...]

Asthma Update

We started our little food, allergen-free eating experiment a year ago this week. Our youngest twin had had a brutal year health wise, in and out of the hospital with pneumonia-induced asthma. She had taken multiple rounds of antibiotics and steroids, her immune system was weak and her body was crying out for help! Feeling like the meds and protocol were not working, not getting to the root of the problem and instead just being a band aid fix, we took an East/West approach to help heal our little one. We worked with an asthma specialist and I did a ton of research to learn what could be triggering her system. Through various tests we discovered that one of the vaccinations she had be given as a toddler didn’t take or left her immune system unprotected against pneumonia, which might explain why she caught this virus 9 times over 10 months!!   She was also sensitive to variety of foods along with having environmental and seasonal allergies. We took out key inflammatory allergen foods … [Read more...]

Quick Marinara

A quick and easy marinara sauce to make for pasta, pizza night or any time you need a quick red sauce.  We use this as our base for many sauces, adding in extra veggies, a protein or beans to make the sauce a little heartier.  See the NOTE section for easy ways to turn this into a thick vegan protein-packed sauce or a meat sauce. … [Read more...]

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...]

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 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...]