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Sanity-Saving Supper Time Tips

EAT, family meals By March 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 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.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Crock-pot-Vegetarian-Lasagna

Slow Cooker Quinoa Vegetarian Lasagna

EAT By December 6, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Give a cheer for the slow cooker! This recipe is great for those hectic days when you are driving one child to hockey practice and the other to a music lesson. Leftovers are fabulous the next day; it’s a great big pot of love.  This recipe by Linda Reasbeck, PHEc and other fabulous vegetarian dishes can be found in the new Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook (Whitecap Books).

NOTE: Catelli’s Healthy Harvest line features whole-grain lasagna noodles. Be sure to choose a pasta sauce that lists tomatoes as the first ingredient.

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) mixed beans, well rinsed and drained
2 2/3 cups (650 mL) pasta sauce
2/3 cup (160 mL) canned diced tomatoes
3/4 cup (185 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 tsp (10 mL) Italian seasoning
1 tsp (5mL) dried oregano leaves
8 uncooked lasagna noodles, preferably 100% whole grain
1 cup (250 mL) sliced white or cremini mushrooms
2 cups (500 mL) cooked chopped spinach leaves, well drained (or 10 oz/300 g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained)
2 cups (500 mL) fat-free cottage cheese
2 cups (500 mL) grated mozzarella cheese

Method:
Grease a 6­quart (6 L) slow cooker with canola oil.

In a medium bowl, combine the mixed beans, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, quinoa (yes, it’s uncooked!), Italian seasoning and oregano. Mix well and set aside.

Place one layer of noodles on the bottom of the slow cooker, breaking to fit.

Top with half of the bean–pasta sauce–quinoa mixture.

Top with half of the mushrooms, and half of the spinach.

Top with half of the cottage cheese.

Repeat the layers: noodles, bean–pasta sauce–quinoa mixture, mushrooms and spinach, cottage cheese.

Top with all of the mozzarella cheese.

Cover and cook on Low for 5 hours. (See photo 6.)

To serve:

Let sit for 5 minutes, then scoop out servings. Serve with a mixed green salad.

Makes 10 servings

One serving = 1/10 of the lasagna

Nutrition per serving

322 calories, 17 mg cholesterol, 7 g fibre, 3 g saturated fat, 47 g carbohydrates, 22 g protein, 6 g total fat, 579 mg sodium, 7 g sugars

Excellent source of folate, vitamin D and iron.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Quick and Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna

EAT, family meals By February 20, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

I made this slow cooker lasagna recipe with the kids and claimed back tons of time for play as it bubbled away for 6 hours.  The hard noodles softened and I actually found the end result to be more firm and flavourful than my Mom’s more labour-intensive version!  Plus, the hidden quinoa and fresh herbs make it much healthier.  You may find some Walmart slow cookers at a good price.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground sausage, pork or chicken (you could also do a vegetarian/tofu meat substitute)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cans (15 ounces each) Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles
3/4 cup dry quinoa
chopped parsley

1.  Cook the meat and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, herbs and salt.
2.  Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)
3. Spoon one-fourth of the meat mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the meat mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture, a layer of quinoa and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.
4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.
5. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Broil on low in the oven (optional) for 5 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top.  Cut into pieces.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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