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!

 

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

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When administrating natural products to our pets, there are – for a good reason – some serious questions that come up
Today, I am answering the top 4 questions asked related to the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Most common questions people ask me, when the topic of adding coconut oil to a dog’s diet comes up are:

1. Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
2. Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
3. What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
4. How to administer coconut oil to the dog

Is coconut oil safe for dogs?
Generally speaking, it is safe for most dogs. Like people, animals can present allergies, so as with all new medication, remedies and food changes, watch your dog very closely.The most common side effects of giving coconut oil is  some greasy stool and upset stomach, which occurs most often because it was introduced too quickly to the dogs diet. If your dog shows severe signs of upset, is vomiting or has excessive diarrhea contact your vet, and disclose that you are introducing coconut oil.

 

Why should I give my dogs coconut oil?
Coconut oil has a wide variety of health benefits for your pets as well as for you. The health benefits for your dogs
are the following:

– antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
– aids in recovery and prevention of allergic reactions
– balances thyroid and weight issues
– reduces doggy odor
– improves digestion
– aids in healing from wounds and scrapes
– aids in the reduction and healing of dry spots
– helps reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis and joint dysfunction
– reduces bad breath
– prevents diabetes

What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
Make sure you read the label of your coconut oil closely. You should always use organic coconut oil that is
non-gmo (I would highly recommend that you choose the same if you are planning to use it for cooking human food)
Coconut oils vary in their flavors – some of them greatly. For your pet, you want to look for a coconut oil that has little
or no coconut flavor, like this Island Fresh Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which is my dogs favorite. It is also cold-pressed, which assures that it is of highest quality
How to administer coconut oil to the dog:
While some dogs are eager to try new things, others – like one of my own – need a little bit of convincing. But there
are some ways to make giving coconut oil a little easier to your dog, by making your own dog treats or by purchasing
dog treats made with coconut oil. Some dogs love the taste so much so, that they will enjoy licking it off a spoon!

 

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER – DO NOT START WITH THE RECOMMENDED DOSE!
Gently introduce coconut oil to your dog’s diet, by including it into your homemade dog food or treats. Start with a fourth
of the dose, then slowly increase the dose over the next 4 weeks. This will prevent stomach upset, and the dreaded greasy
diarrhea, that comes from introducing coconut oil too quickly. The recommended dose of coconut oil for your dog depends on its weight:

Coconut Oil Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight

 

 

 

Do you have any additional questions regarding coconut oil for dogs? Leave me a comment below!

 

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

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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 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.

______________________________________________

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

 

 

 

Enter to Win Your Dream Classroom – The Educents Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

teacher appreciation educents 2016

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation month, Educents, FreshGrade, S&S Worldwide, and the Sellers of Educents have partnered to give educators funding for their dream classrooms. The 7 educators with the most votes will win a combined $10,000! Any educator is eligible to win – teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and school administrators.

How to Win

Educators get pretty creative when it comes to raising money to cover expenses for classroom supplies. Many host bake sales, ask the community for second-hand supplies, or pay out of their own pockets. However, there’s a new way to get money for your classroom… and it doesn’t include raiding the aisles of your local dollar store.

It’s easy to enter to win the Educents Teacher Appreciation Giveaway, and it still requires a little creativity (see Step 3).

Step 1: Save up to $5,000 in products for your dream classroom in your Educents wishlist.

Step 2: Click “Enter to Win” on your wishlist page and create your voting profile.

Step 3: Share with your friends, family and community and ask them to vote for you every day until May 6. This is your opportunity to get creative – how will you share your wishlist, and how will you involve your community to vote for you??

Any educator is eligible to win – teachers, homeschoolers, and school administrators. Ready to get started?

enter-now

 

Here are a few other entries I love – vote for your favorite!

teacher appreciation vote

“Vote for me because I LOVE teaching. I have a wonderful class that is full of spirit and who loves to learn. I will be putting all my dream items to the end of the year lessons and summer school lessons.” -Diana R.

“I am a homeschooling mom of 4 children, and one baby on the way! We live on only my husband salary. I would love to create a dream classroom for them.” – Gina H.

enter-now

Wordless Wednesday: Wellness

Those who thinkthey have no time for healthy eating, will sooneror later have to make timefor illness.

 

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

Spring Digital Link Up

Wordless Wednesday (1)

Wordless Wednesday (2)

Wordless Wednesday by XMasDolly 

What Are You Doing In April – Blog Hop

Extra Veg – April Linky

Be Inspired