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dinner

Sanity-Saving Supper Time Tips

Uncategorized By March 25, 2014 No Comments

Sanity-Saving Supper Time TipsBy Lianne Phllipson-Webb, Sprout Right

In the spring as the weather improves, kids can get even busier with after school and evening activities. This can make supper time a challenge. How do you feed your hungry crowd healthy food, and quickly? Here are three sanity-saving supper time tips that will make your weekday meal prep a cinch.

  1. Weekends are for Prepping

Make some time for your weekday meal prep. Head to the grocery store and fill your fridge with fresh fruits, vegetables and protein. Create a plan for weekday meals and prepare by washing and cutting up veggies, grilling or roasting meats.

  1. Think BIG

Think BIG when it comes to meals and always aim to have a hearty amount of leftovers. Leftovers make great lunches for the next day and they can also form the foundation of your next supper. Cook a whole chicken (or two) instead of cooking a chicken breast and cut up the meat to make a salad or taco for the next night. Incorporate casseroles that please a crowd, and heat up great, like homemade lasagna.

  1. A Team Sport

Involve your kids as much as possible in meal preparation. Find age-appropriate activities like ripping lettuce leaves (pre-schoolers) and cutting up raw veggies (school-age). Even toddlers can help by grabbing their own plate and fork and helping to set the table. You can have “make your own” nights, where you put out the basic ingredients and the kids choose how to put their meal together. Examples include make your own pasta night, a chili bar (with hot chili, cheese, veggies and potatoes) and make your own taco night. Getting the whole family involved at mealtime not only helps you, it helps your kids learn skills toward independence.

Do you have some favourite recipes for quick and easy weekday meals? How do you save your sanity at suppertime?

Lianne Phillipson-Webb is the founder of Sprout Right, a company that specializes in pre-conception, prenatal, and postnatal nutrition for women, as well as good food and health for the whole family. With over ten years of experience, Lianne is a registered nutritionist, author, member of the International Organization of Nutrition Consultants, and mother of two.

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Easy Inspired Romance for Valentine's Day

Uncategorized By January 30, 2014 2 Comments

Easy Romance for Valentine's Day The continent of Africa has helped me fall more deeply in love this year and I couldn’t possibly set up a romantic Valentine’s dinner without giving a nod to its guttural beauty and spirit.  In February I worked with kids in Liberia with Right To Play Canada and then my husband raised money in August for Canada’s first blood cord bank by summiting Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Throughout the year, our kids’ school fundraised to build water wells in South Sudan. Whish Romantic Table

Typically I am a high-maintenance silver, china and crystal girl. Don’t snicker. But after the 2 trips to Africa, kids’ activities and work, I am rather exhausted.  When my Whish Romance Box arrived I had just attended the kids’ first school musical all about water. The performance talked of the importance of water and Africa was a large component. The boys explained that many families in Sudan are leaving their homes and the wells the school has built because there is a war going on. Wow. Africa deserves a nod, and I am so thankful for how it has touched all of our lives this year. Whish Box

Opening the Whish romance box I was thrilled. They had thought of everything – even menus and a shopping list! Turnkey. Heavy silver plates, cutlery, stunning champagne flutes and wine glasses – all in plastic for easy recycling or re-use. (Hello beach picnic). Chocolates, a pashmina, napkins, vase and tealight holders (with the candles that I always run out of!). In fact, Whish made romance so easy with the essentials that I could focus on the theme and the romance of it all.

So how do you add thoughtful romance? Incorporate bits from your life. It needn’t be as exotic as Africa, but little touches – that this time-saving box of fun gives you – can be tacked on at the end. But if you don’t have an iota of creative juice in your body – you are covered.  Follow the step by step directions, make the (fab) suggested meal and ask the florist for the suggested flowers. The evening will be epic – as my 6 year-old likes to say. But I’m hoping he is referring to something different. IN THE WHISH BOX

I draped a gold and blue cloth I had been given in Liberia over the table in our bedroom. The boys’ two hand carved wooden giraffes kissed at the back of our plates. White flowers and a few stones from the Kilimanjaro climb along with the heart-shaped chocolates strewn on the table finished the look. African drum music was next. We had a beautiful dinner, conversation with depth and given that this is rated G, I think I’ll stop there. Wink.

** GIVEAWAY: Who wouldn’t want a Valentines Day box, extra candles and a Breakfast Basket ? We know you don’t want to cook on the morning after. The contest will run from January 27th to February 3rd. The product will be delivered to the winner in time for Valentines Day.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post courtesy of Whish.ca. All ideas and opinions are our own.

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Risotto, Spinach and Kale Cakes with Parmesan

Uncategorized By October 5, 2013 No Comments

We think these little cakes have everything going for them, from their portable size to their delicious Parmesan flavour. This hearty risotto also gets a dose of my favourite superfood, kale. Two-bite wonders, they’re a great lunch packed up with some fruit and cut vegetables. You can also serve these little bundles alongside eggs at breakfast or as a side with dinner.

This recipe was excerpted from the great new cookbook entitled How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potatoes Chronicles Cookbook, by Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh.  As two urban, working moms, Ceri and Laura learned quickly how challenging healthy meal-times can be. So they joined forces to create the Sweet Potato Chronicles (www.sweetpotatochronicles.com), a website written for, and by, non-judgmental moms, packed full of nutritious recipes for families.  The phenomenal cookbook is available across Canada at Chapters Indigo.


Prep time:  30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes:       about 8

 

5 cup  (125 ml) arborio rice
1 Tbsp   (15 ml) butter
4 cup (60 ml) chopped onion
3 cloves  garlic,  minced
1 cup  (250 ml) chopped kale, fresh or frozen
1 cup  (250 ml) chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
5 cup  (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Using a nonstick  spray, grease a muffin  tin.

Cook the arborio rice according to the package directions. If you’re using fresh greens, wash and remove any tough stems then chop. If your greens are frozen, thaw them for a few minutes and squeeze out any liquid.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion  and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the kale and spinach and sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture  to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add the rice and cheese. Beat the eggs and then add to the rice. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, leaving about 1 inch  (2.5 cm)  space  at the  top. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until  the egg is set and the edges are golden brown.

Allow to cool for a few minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn  the cakes onto  a plate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator  for up to 4 days.

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Try McCain Harvest Splendour Medleys for a Great Family Dinner

Uncategorized By March 5, 2012 1 Comment

I was given the opportunity to try the new McCain Harvest Splendour Medleys and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Typically, I like to do as much as possible from ‘scratch’, but with my husband away for 10 days, continuing to run a business, and essentially single-parenting 2 boys under 6, I decided to call in some assistance.  Not nannies, though that would have also been a wise choice.  I hit my grocery store and took the plunge.  Prepared frozen foods.  I started with a brand I know: McCain’s. Try McCain Harvest Splendour Medley for a great family dinner, without the drudge work!

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