How To Accommodate Different Food Tastes And Needs – 7 Tips

7 Tips On How To Accommodate Different Food Tastes And Needs (1)— This blog post contains affiliate links ——

We are a miss-matched family when it comes to our eating habits. My daughter has an illness that gets aggravated by some food additives, and she is a Vegan. My son is a vegetarian, my husband a dedicated meat-eater, but who needs to watch his blood pressure, and I, well I am healing my thyroid naturally – that means no soy or soy products, and a long list of other foods, including some veggies, I should and will not eat. (I wrote more extensively on my allowed and disallowed food list here) Oh, and my dogs are allergic to commercial dog food, so I cook for them as well. Tired yet? I am.

Making meals that all of us can enjoy is a challenge. My over-the-road truck driving husband, is thankfully cooking mostly for himself, when he is driving, making food prep at least meat-free. That leaves us three people and the three animals. Thankfully the cat can (and will) eat whatever I put in front of him.

So what do we do to make it all work?

1. We meal plan. Once a week, my daughter and I create a meal plan for our entire week. We have some go-to recipes, but are always searching for something new, and are not afraid to look at foreign language websites to get inspired. Which also makes for a great homeschool lesson.

2. We look for or I create our own recipes that are easily adjusted (from vegan to vegetarian, or the other way around). I have shared some of these recipes on this blog, and will share some more on occasion.

3. We communicate. There is no shame in speaking up and saying that one of us did not like a meal or an idea. Suggestions on how to make a meal easier or better are always welcome and openly encouraged. We are a team here.

4. We have meals, where we share our space but not the same meal. Use today, as an example. All three of us had Mexican food. My son ate a bean taco, my daughter a tofu,carrot and cabbage quesadilla, and I ate a Mexican style zucchini wrap. It was relatively easy to adjust for our individual tastes, and most importantly we still had a complete meal as a family. (My husband is currently driving over-the-road, otherwise, he would have joined us with a traditional taco)

5. We are not afraid to try new things. None of us are afraid to try new recipes, flavors, and techniques. The kids are used to our trial and error system, and will speak up when something did not work for them.

6. We do not expect perfection. I am not a Five-Star chef, and I did not grow up cooking vegan or even vegetarian meals. Because of that alone,I do not expect that every meal will come out as planned. Letting go of creating that perfect meal, made my life a lot easier, and cooking a lot more stress-free.

7. We use meal prep containers. I have a collection of meal-prep containers in different sizes, some with sections, others without. Not only do they make it easy for me to make meals ahead, freeze, and then reheat in the microwave, but they also make wonderful containers to prepare healthy snacks for each of us. Mine often contains a boiled, egg, veggies, and maybe some cheese, while my daughters will be filled with some nuts, veggies and an individual container of hummus.

I will introduce you to one of my recently acquired containers in more detail in an upcoming review soon, meanwhile, you can check them out on Amazon – Spoiler alert: They have a tight seal, and are wonderfully stackable, I love them! 

Question: How do you plan your meals? Do you meal prep? I would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below!

 

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Vegan Coconut-Curry Rice with Snap Peas

Vegan Coconut-Curry Rice With SnapPeasCurry, rice, and coconut are a inseparable stable in my kitchen, and especially when I am cooking vegan meals. With these simple ingredients, anyone can create a flavorful plant-based dish, that is healthy, filling and will satisfy even the
meat-eaters. I do not like bland food, and there is nothing bland about this quick, and cheap meal.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of rice (choose your favorite – for this dish I make it either with brown rice, or Basmati, depending on
what I have in the house)
3 cups of water
1/4 cup of raisins (optional)
1/2 cup of raw unsalted nuts (you can use walnuts, cashews or Almonds for this dish)
1 can of coconut milk
1 package (which is about two large handfuls of snap peas, trimmed)
curry powder, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare rice according to the direction on the package. Add the coconut milk, the snap peas, the raisins, nuts and
spices to a large pan, allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the snappeas are tender. You can add as much curry powder
as you like, we like it a little bit more spicy, so we add more. It also depends on what curry you use.

Serve immediatly.

Enjoy!

As I mentioned on my facebook page, and previous blog posts, Creative Live is conducting a free 30 Day Genius interview series, It began today, with Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, Multi-Billionaire, and a member of the Shark Tank television show. Today, he spoke about passion, hustle, out-working and out-learning others. If you have not signed up for this free series, that you can watch anytime, you should do so now. The list of the upcoming geniuses, artists and creatives is extensive and includes the most prominent in their  field. And best of all – it is totally free!

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Making Monday’s Marvelous

Amaze Me Mondays

Family Fun Blog Hop

Farm Girl Friday

No Rules Blog Hop

Inspire Me Wednesday

Let’s Talk Mommy Blog Hop

5 Facts About Mortar And Pestles You Might Not Know

5 Facts About Mortar And Pestles You Might Not Know

——– The following post may contain affiliate links ——————–

Mortar and Pestle are not a beautiful but also a functional pair of tools to have in your kitchen, especially if you do
a lot of cooking with herbs and spices. But as you already know, I always want to know more about the tools I use, so I
decided to dig up some facts about this interesting contraption you might not have known before:

5 Things You May Not Know About Mortar And Pestles

1. Did you know in some places there were used for meat preparation? Large stone mortars with wood pestles were used in West Asia to grind meat for a type of meatloaf called kebbeh as well as a type of hummus called masabcha.

2.Here is a non-food use of the mortar and pestle: It is traditional in various Hindu ceremonies such as weddings and
upanayanam to use the mortar and pestle to crush turmeric.

3. Mortar and Pestles are a big part of Thai history: The Thai mortar and pestle dates back to the Sukhothai period which was the 1st Kingdom that was founded in 1238 A.D. and was used to grind foods and medicines.

4. the results of your grinding depend on the material of the mortar and pestle. I will get more into the details of that
in a moment.

5. The oldest mentioning of the mortar and pestle stems from Ancient Egypt, in a medical manuscript called the
Papyrus Ebers, which dates about 1550 BCE.

What are the best Mortar And Pestle material for which use?

Ceramic:
stains easily used to create powdered substances

Stone/Granite:
very heavy, durable and sturdy, look for a not so porous mortar for best use. Good for general cooking uses

Wood:
best for griding seeds and salts. Do not use with moisture. Never leave in water so it won’t warp. Delicate.

Porcelain:
Easy to clean, usually dishwasher safe, need salt in order to make grinding easier. General household use

Marble:
the heaviest of them all. Easy to clean, very sturdy, easiest to use. does not absorb odor.

 

I was recently given the chance to review the Maxam Marble Mortar and Pestle, and here are my thoughts:

My first impression was, that is was as heavy and beautiful as I expected from a marble piece. Of all Mortar and Pestles, I prefer marble as the material, as it is the most functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing, allowing me to leave  in full display, rather than hiding it in the cupboard somewhere. The Maxam Mortar and Pestle is not exception to that rule. With a large bowl,  it is  wonderful to use for the larger patches of spice mixes I tend to make, cutting my work time.  It is almost completely white, with the slight colors I also expect and love from marble. The pestle rests well in my hand and is well balanced, which makes working with this item easier and more convenient. Overall I am very happy with this item, which is available on Amazon at a very reasonable price.

Disclaimer: I was given the Maxam Mortar and Pestle for free in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Stay tuned for some more interesting facts about every day items, you might not have thought about before.

This post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Blog Party

Wednesday Blog Hop

Inspire Me Wednesday

Too cute Tuesdays

Amaze Me Mondays

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara (Creamy Coconut Leek Sauce)

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara

—- The following post contains affiliate links, see disclosure page for details ——- 

I like eating creamy dishes – which is why I almost always have coconut milk in the house. It is no wonder then, that I had to find a replacement for one of my favorite pasta dishes – carbonara. Not exactly the most healthy meal in its original form,
but yummy enough to break all of the rules.
But now I don’t have to feel guilty about my creamy indulgence anymore because I came up with a carbonara that replaces the real thing. I hope you like it as much as I do, just one warning – it is addicting.

You will need:

1 package whole-grain pasta (you can use gluten-free, or regular whole-wheat, whichever you prefer)
1 leek
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 can (about 250 ml) coconut milk (for this do not use the low-fat variety – trust me on this, it is time to splurge)
salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg to taste

Preparation:
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Rinse and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the white part of the leeks in thin rings. Add the coconut oil into a deep pan, cook until the leek becomes
somewhat translucent, similar to cooking onions. Add the coconut milk to the leek and simmer for 5 minutes, or until
the leak becomes soft. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Top your pasta with the creamy coconut sauce – and you are done!

Another simple, yet yummy meal, that is easy to make, and satisfying enough for a meat eater. If you are participating in the Meatless Mondays’ this is the perfect easy, and decadent meal for you, that keeps you full, energized, and will not make you miss the meat, dairy or any other animal product!
Variety: I have made a variety of this dish by adding broccoli instead of leek to the sauce. It is just as yummy!

To make the creation of this dish even easier, and keep your food from sticking, use this great CuliChef Silicone & Stainless Steel Spatula that I have recently discovered. I love this heavy duty kitchen instrument, as it can hold some weight, does not stick and can handle heat up to 445 Degrees Fahrenheit (220 Celcius). I have become a fan of anything silicone when it comes to kitchen gadgets, and this spatula is no exception. It has a long handle, which prevents any splattering on your hands, which is great, especially when you are trying to teach children how to cook. As an extra bonus, I found it very easy to clean, no matter what sticky mess I made.  Try it out, it is available on Amazon now.

(Disclaimer: I have received the CuliChef Silicone & Stainless Steel Spatula for free in return for an honest and unbiased review. )

 

Have a wonderful day!

Claudia

Vegan Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets

Vegan Pink Curry Recipe With Red BeetsFinding something to make for lunch that we can all eat safely, and that fits our different lifestyle choices can be challenging. So I like to experiment not only with different techniques, but also with flavors. which sometimes works, other times ends in total disaster – oh well. This recipe was inspired by my search through German vegan blogs, where someone used a lot of red beets, sometimes in combination with Indian flavors. Which in turn sparked my creativity, and made me come up with this now  family -tested and approved, Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets. (I love cooking with coconut milk!)

 

Pink Curry Recipe With Red Beets.

 (feeds 2 hungry people) You will need:

1 large or 2 small fresh red beets, cleaned, peeled and diced into small cubes

1 medium size leek, cut into thin rings

1 small onion, finely diced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

1 can of organic coconut milk (our can was 13 oz)

2 cups of veggie stock – use your favorite kind

salt, pepper and curry powder to taste – I like it a little spicier, so i tend to add more curry and pepper, but how much is totally up to you.

Olive oil

Instructions:

Add olive oil, leeks, and onions into the pan, cook until translucent. Add the veggie stock, potatoes, beets, coconut milk and spices, stirring well to combine. Bring to a simmer. Add more spices if necessary. Cook at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are done, stirring often during the cooking process.

Serve hot.

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Simple, isn’t it? Yet it has such a wonderful combination of earthy flavors, and powerful spices that made it so delicious, even my husband, who is a dedicated meat-eater did not have a choice but to enjoy. A perfect recipe for anyday, or your Meatless Monday meals.

Have a wonderful, and healthy day!

Claudia

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P.S. No time to shop and plan a meal? Check out SunBasket’s Vegetarian Menu for this week here! Includes a yummy Lentil dish, that is absolutely delicious and soy free! Also available are gluten-free, and paleo meal options. Find out more here

 

 

 

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Bento Boxes

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Bento BoxesThe following post may contain affiliate links

Bento boxes are all of the rage, ranging from adorable boxes for children, to elaborate stackable wooden boxes,
with beautiful decor. Originating from Japan, they are a wonderful way to store and transport food wherever you go.

But how much do you really know about these traditional Japanese food boxes? I have collected 5 Bento facts you might not know, just for you:

I have collected 5 Bento facts you might not know, just for you:
1. Bento actually means convenience. And that is exactly what they are, a convenient way to take food with you, with
practical compartments keeping your food separate and clean.

2. In Japan you can be served Makunouchi Bento at a restaurant. These meals come arranged in elegant lacquered boxes, and are often very elegant.

3. There is such a thing as bento art. Featuring elaborate designs – cute, filled with humor, or just simply weird – Hongkiat
features a few of these well-designed bento art pieces. Check out the Starbucks bento box, which is my personal favorite

4. The difference between a bento box, and a lunch box is,…. well there is not any, because essentially a bento box is a
lunch box used in Japan. The biggest difference is probably, that a lunch box does not have to have separate compartments to be a lunch box, while a bento box usually has at least two compartments.
5. Great for eating healthy – bento boxes, because of their separate compartments allow for portion control. This is
especially great for those who are trying to reach their goal weight, or trying to ensure that they are consuming a balanced
meal. Use the largest compartments for veggies, and the smaller ones for proteins, starches, and even desserts.

My current favorite bento lunch boxes are these NimNik Kitchenette 3-Compartment Bento Boxes. Easily stackable, these three compartment boxes make it easy to transport a well-rounded lunch to the office, but are in my house mostly used for meal-prep. I like the prepare my healthy snacks and meals ahead of time, knowing that if I have the convenience of filled bento boxes at my fingertips, I am less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack. They are perfect for holding cold
lunches, such as sandwich and salad lunches, my favorite vegan wraps, or especially for a raw meal, like zucchini noodles with raw tomato sauce, with space left for some no-bake cookie balls, and fruit!. They come in a pack of ten, with a black bottom and a see-through plastic top, and are easy to clean. I love that the lid fits very tightly upon the box, making sure that there will be no mess, during transport. They are not of the thickest material, so I would not abuse them, as
it is possible with some other sturdier bento boxes, but I have had neither breakage or leakage issues with them, and we
have put them through the family test.

You can find the NimNik Kitchenette 3-Compartment Bento Boxes on Amazon right now!

 

Want to see how bento boxes can be used for a healthy, vegan meal prep? Check out one of my favorite YouTuber “Mind Over Munch” create Vegan Bento Boxes!

Disclaimer: I received the NimNik Bento boxes for free in return for an honest review

 

5 Interesting Facts About Cocoa Butter You Might Not Know


5 Interesting Facts About Cocoa Butter Your Might Not Know (2)

Disclaimer: The following post contains affiliate links. I have received the product mentioned for free in return for on honest review – see disclosure page for details

If you love chocolate, you are at the right place, because today, I am writing to you, about one of the key ingredients for the world’s most loved treat – cocoa butter. But, cocoa butter is much more versatile than you might think. Let me tell you a little more, with this list of 5 interesting facts you might not know about cocoa butter:

1. It is very popular in vegan cooking. Sweets treats, such as cakes, chocolates, and others do not need to be missed a part of a vegan diet when incorporating cocoa butter to your food prep. But not only sweets benefit from a cocoa treatment – because of its easy to melt consistency, it can also be used to pan-fry items such as tofu.

2. It makes a great base for DIY cosmetics. Body butters, lip balms, and facial masks are just a small example of what this wonderful butter can be used for. And if you have, like I do, problems with handling overly scented beauty products, those created with cocoa butter as a base, are a breath of fresh air (or chocolate) for our sensitive noses.

3. Cocoa butter is often used as the base of luxury bath soaps. These soaps are especially great for preventing dry or cracked skin, leaving you feeling especially soft. If you are prone to oily skin, I would rather suggest not to use it as a base for facial soaps and cleansers

4. 100 grams of cocoa butter contain up to 900 calories. This fact, in combination of the realization that it also contains 60 % saturated fat, makes it a winner when it comes to beauty products and no so much in the kitchen – no matter how good it tastes

5. It is an essential component of the “chocolate” used for massages. Ever tried chocolate massage therapy? If you have not, you have missed out on something special, not only because the combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder is wonderful for your skin, but because it smells divine, and is incredibly relaxing. making it the perfect treat for anyone.

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Natural Beauty Goddess was kind enough to send me a 1 lb package of their raw 100 % cocoa butter to review. This type of cocoa butter is not food grade, but rather thought for the above-mentioned beauty treatments. Rich and thick, this great raw and organic cocoa butter is Kosher certified, and comes in a beautiful screw top container, that makes dispensing it easy. I suffer from contact allergies, which, after I applied it to my arm, felt immediately better. The smooth, beautifully scented butter is one of the few things, I can put on my skin without hesitation while loving the smell, and luxurious feeling. The only downfall I found is, that due to the lack of outer packaging, my container came with a slightly broken lid. so, improved and additional packaging would prevent any breakage. That did not diminish the high quality of the product, which by the way comes with a free ebook, containing recipes and information about cocoa butter. I am planning on creating a few of the mentioned DIY cosmetics shortly

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The above post was a part of the following blog hops:

Coastal Charm 

No place like home

At Our Home

Cozy Little House

Stone Gable Blog

Bernideen’s Blog