Sweet Potato Chronicles - THE NEVER ENDING STORY OF THE WELL-FED FAMILY…

Kale Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese

kalechickensalad

From the begin­ning of this website's life, kale has really been Laura's thing. I mean, I liked it well enough and under­stood its nutri­tional ben­e­fits but to be hon­est I was always a bit meh on actu­ally putting in my gro­cery cart week to week. While Laura was putting it on piz­zas, puree­ing it into pestos and prac­ti­cally bathing in it on the reg­u­lar I just couldn't get excited about it. But now? I'm like that super cool per­son who tells you about this amaz­ing show called Mad Men. Have you seen it? I'm so late to the party that every­one else has moved on to food crushes on freekeh and hemp and I'm over here going, "Oh, my God, kale!" I'm going through at least one bunch per week and think I could eas­ily add another to my gro­cery list.

What changed things for me? Hon­estly, I have my friend Claire Tansey to thank. She taught me the sim­plest step to add to kale recipes: mas­sage the kale. It's a game changer, peo­ple. Once you've removed the tough spine from each leaf, just driz­zle the tini­est bit of oil on the kale and get in there and really rub for a few min­utes. It makes the kale more ten­der and pleas­an­ter to eat. And here's the icing on the cake that I came up with all on my own: you can get chil­dren to do it. Both of my kids groan when they see me wash­ing and slic­ing up kale now but they roll up their sleeves and mas­sage those greens! And angels sing!

In this hon­ey­moon phase that kale and I are hav­ing, I've done lots of dif­fer­ent sal­ads but this is my cur­rent favourite. It's sub­stan­tial enough to be a meal on its own and would be per­fect to bring along to a pic­nic or bar­be­cue. You can change up the ingre­di­ents as you need to — almonds instead of pecans, straw­ber­ries rather than blue­ber­ries — but you'll always end up with a healthy, hearty meal. Just don't change the kale — it's so good! Read more

Grilled Salmon & Zucchini Skewers

SalmonandZucchini

Com­ing out of the first long week­end of the sea­son (in Canada, any­way) really has us feel­ing sum­mery. We had a pic­nic with friends to wel­come their new baby one after­noon and a bar­be­cue birth­day party with other pals the next. There was time out­side for the kids to run around and work up an appetite and the return of lots of our favourite sum­mer foods. Potato salad, pressed sand­wiches (recipe com­ing soon), burg­ers and straw­ber­ries so sweet they only needed the tini­est bit of ice cream to become dessert.

Our sum­mers are so short that I always feel the pres­sure to knock out the most warm-weather recipes I pos­si­bly can. This year's bucket list includes home made ice cream, sal­ads made on my spi­ral­izer and many more ways to use the grill. As much as I love a steak cooked over flames, I feel like you don't need me telling you how to do that. But can I inter­est you in a fresher, lighter way to use your bar­be­cue? Some­thing like these salmon and zuc­chini skew­ers, for instance? They're easy to pre­pare, quick to cook and I find that putting ingre­di­ents on a stick helps kids get over what­ever aver­sions they might have to them. Esme and Julian both love salmon but are on and off with zuc­chini but see­ing these skew­ers made it very much an on. Read more

No-Bake Oat and Fruit Bars

No Bake Oats-1

The month of June is like the month of Decem­ber to me. It's jammed with events and as the month wears on, like my stress level, my sched­ule only gets more intense. If you have a fam­ily, June is the month when every­thing that has framed the school-year (stud­ies, extra cur­ric­u­lar clubs and sports as well as out­side activ­i­ties and sports) comes to a spec­tac­u­lar end. And by spec­tac­u­lar, I mean fran­tic. From final projects (please, God, don't make me buy another bris­tol board) to recitals (Really?! Do we actu­ally need a photo day for that gawdy dance cos­tume? Sorry, dance cos­tume peo­ple.) and final tour­na­ments. Plus don't for­get all the end of school gifts for teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors. If I didn't take an extra few min­utes before the week to plan our meals, then I'm sure we'd be eat­ing crumbs off the floor.

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Salmon Rice Bowl

salmonricebowl

Even a per­son who is com­mit­ted to cook­ing at home for most meals needs a get-out-of-jail-free card, you know? We have a cou­ple of places in our neigh­bour­hood that give me that kind of break when I need it. One is Ter­roni, well known in Toronto for their amaz­ing piz­zas (although both Laura and I live for their Niz­zarda salad), and the other is our local sushi spot. The staff are incred­i­bly sweet and one of their walls is cov­ered with my kids' art so you know how often we're there. We all have our usu­als on the menu. Esme and Julian love the gyoza and Cal­i­for­nia hand rolls, Ben likes the hamachi sushi and I always order a salad that com­bines greens, sushi rice and sashimi.

I'm not a believer in home made sushi but I'd always thought about tweak­ing that salad into some­thing that could be made (safely!) at home. And this is it! It's acci­den­tally trendy with the cur­rent obses­sion for bowls, and it's a light yet sat­is­fy­ing din­ner. I could eat this thing every night if no one else com­plained. Feel free to freestyle with the veg­gies and go with what you've got. I par­tic­u­larly love it when the fish and rice are still warm but you could absolutely make those parts in advance and assem­ble it cold.

And don't think that because I've fig­ured out how to make one of my favourite restau­rant meals at home that I don't still take a break from cook­ing. I do, my friends, I really do. Read more

Easy Brunch Week: Baked Pancakes with Strawberry, Banana and Honey, honey

Dutchy

I some­times for­get I'm the mom. Wait–let me clar­ify that. I don't mean that I for­get that I'm the one who runs around each day with­out a head (or some­times a clue) get­ting Scar­lett from home to school, from school to lunch and then back again, from play date to bal­let and then, finally, at dusk, who ago­nizes with her over a 40 word spelling test. It's just each year when Mother's Day rolls around my gut reac­tion is to think of my mom. She's who I'm used to cel­e­brat­ing and, any one who knows me knows, she's my best friend. I'm also still very reliant on her. Maybe I don't need her to tie my shoe any more but no one, and I mean no one, can talk me down from a ledge bet­ter than my mommy. So I think of her first each May.
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