After several child organizational challenges and lego mishaps at home, I headed to Toronto for the first McDonald’s All-Access Moms trip. (We managed to find Luke Skywalker’s body, so I was free to travel without worry.) It’s hard to pinpoint how I feel as I begin on this journey. I’ve been busy with the press, and am so excited to dive into the program. Questions are pouring in, and I’ve been gently schooled in societal issues all the way from farming protocols to the perils of eating too quickly.
I first heard about CityLine’s McDonald’s All-Access Moms program and thought it would be intriguing to see the operations, food preparation and strategy of a huge corporation from behind the scenes. It is a rare opportunity to be granted access to the inner workings of one of the world’s largest restaurants. (And not only any restaurant – but one which arouses passionate opinions by so many people). I applied and was honoured to be chosen. With the decision to participate comes a huge responsibility to ask tough questions, consider philosophical positions and present all I learn in a professional manner.
So Quinoa Turkey Meatballs are among our most popular recipes and it’s a great time-saver as you can make a large batch of meatballs ahead of time, freeze them and take them out each meal or snack time and add them to pasta, rice or veggies at dinner time or for a quick snack alongside cheese, crackers and fruit. The meatballs are great for your kids to pitch in and help make. They love the texture and rolling them into balls!
We add quinoa as it’s an ancient Incan grain that is packed with nutrition. It has 20% more protein than other whole grains. It is loaded with vitamins A, E and B, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Wow!!
Try to use organic ingredients where possible. It just tastes better and is better for you and your little ones!
Serves 4 adults, PREP TIME- 20mins, COOK TIME-15-20mins
Quinoa Turkey Meatballs
1 lb (450g) organic ground turkey
1 large organic whole egg, beaten
1 cup (240ml) cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sage
2 tsp paprika
1/2-1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp sunflower seed oil for frying
COMBINE quinoa with all the spices and nutritional yeast
ADD ground turkey and beaten egg
FORM balls (about 20 medium)
HEAT skillet with 2 tsp of oil
FRY at medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until meat temperature has reached 170F (80 C)
OPTION: Bake meatballs in a 350F (180C) for 30 minutes, or until done
1 large tin of crushed tomatoes
Handful of sweet cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp of organic cane sugar
1 red pepper finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
HEAT the crushed tomatoes in a large saucepan
ADD the cherry tomatoes, sugar and red pepper
LEAVE to simmer and thicken for 10-12 minutes
STIR occasionally and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Brown Rice Pasta
12 oz Brown Rice Fusilli (Spiral) Pasta
1 Tbsp of olive oil
COOK rice pasta in boiling water according to package instructions, rinse with cold water. Drain and toss with olive oil back in saucepan.
Now add your tomato sauce and meatballs.
Serve with a nice crisp green salad for the perfect meal.
You can find brown rice pasta at your local grocery store. Tinkyada is a brand that I use at home and is fantastic. Here’s why you should switch to brown rice pasta. It’s wheat-free, gluten-free, organic, NO corn, eggs, dairy, casein, meat, soy, nut or peanut. Corn and Soy are the worst GMO foods (genetically modified). Try to avoid these foods if not organic.
If your not sure that your kids will like it you can mix regular white pasta 50/50 and gradually switch them over. Also – a great way to switch your kids from white rice to brown rice.
Remember white rice, white pasta = white bread (or equivalent)
Brown rice, brown rice pasta = wholewheat bread (or equivalent)
This recipe is short but trust us, it’s sweet! It’s good for babies’ ages 9 months on.
Makes 1 serving
Stick to your healthy eating resolutions with this main course waldorf bulgur salad recipe that’s full of whole grain goodness. It’s a great use for any leftover roasted turkey you have, and packs easily for work lunches. Makes 6 main course servings.
If feeding your children healthy snacks is high on your priority list, it’s time to start reading those labels – and if you haven’t been introduced to glucose, fructose, and the mixture of the two, you’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself. Glucose and fructose are both carbohydrates and simple sugars, AKA monosaccharides, which are found in most foods. They also happen to be the chief source of energy for the human body.
Your body is amazing. It supported a new life for nine months, and then overcame a physical task unlike any other, to give birth to your beautiful baby. Now, your body is producing milk and adjusting to new hormones, sleep deprivation, and new routines. In many cultures, including in Asia, it is expected that during the postpartum period women rest and bond with the baby while her family takes care of all the other daily responsibilities. We’ve researched nourishing foods to support postpartum recovery. You just have to eat them!
This tourtiere recipe originated in Quebec and is frequently enjoyed in the winter months – especially on ski vacations and during special holidays. After enjoying the expansive terrain and fresh Tremblant air, you’ll need a piping hot, hearty pie to warm your bones. So pop off the skis, make some cocoa for the kids, and wrap yourself in cashmere as your Mont Tremblant Tourtiere warms in the oven.
Easiest, funnest (is that a word?) most perfect thing to do with kids in the winter. Sun Peaks Maple Syrup Candy. Kid’s Part: Fill a roasting pan with snow. Use a spoon to carve thin lines/troughs in the fluffy white snow they have collected. Adult’s Part: Place a pot on the stove and pour in your desired amount of pure Canadian Maple Syrup. Never leave the syrup unattended as you bring to a near boil. (It can come to heat very quickly and you never want it to boil over.) Once it is near boiling, have the kids stand back, and gently pour the syrup into the troughs they have made in the snow. Wait one minute while the syrup begins to harden. Using a teaspoon or a popsicle stick, begin at one end of the first trough and roll the candy onto the spoon. Voila! You have a maple syrup candy popsicle. Now for the lesson in teeth brushing..
Your family has escaped the Toronto winter to Blue Mountain and you are getting cozy in a cabin at Ontario’s largest ski and snowboard resort. The fire is blazing, the kids are tired (and happy), and snow falls outside your windows. The Niagara vineyards have kindly provided you with a selection of great wine, and you can now start the quintessential vacation meal: Blue Mountain Cheese Fondue.