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Homemade Lunchables

Lunchables

Today’s Homemade Lunchables — Cheaper & way healthier: Hard boiled egg, white cheese, homemade Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (from the freezer, recipe on blog), sliced cucumber and fresh sugar peas, local blueberries and plum, homemade nut-free granola and a small yoghurt.

Leftovers Lunchbox

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Best kind of lunchbox for a busy mom? Leftovers! This lunch features leftover Sesame Ginger Quinoa Coleslaw (recipe coming to my blog soon!) with edamame, cold local nitrite-free chicken sausage, berries and homemade Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (right out of the freezer). Easy Peasy!

Crockpot Caramelized Onions (Dead Easy)

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This is my best discovery in a long time, although apparently “everybody’s doing it”, and I’ve just been cluelessly and needlessly avoiding all the “fancier” recipes because they included caramelized onions on their ingredient list. Well, no more!

Make Your Own Parfait Friday

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It’s make your own parfait Friday! Plain yoghurt drizzled with honey and loaded with fresh berries and a side of nut-free homemade granola

Veggie Chili over Quinoa

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During the month of September, I traditionally post my photos and descriptions of what’s REALLY in my own kids’ lunch. All of my lunch posts this month can be found using the “Lunchbox Love” tag on my blog and my Lunchbox Love Pinterest Page, here. Happy first day of school, everyone!

Black Bean & Quinoa Freezer Burritos

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These yummy burritos are perfect for busy nights when you need a grab-and-go dinner or your kids have to eat between activities. They’re also lunchbox-friendly, and can be eaten warmed or cold. Make a big batch, wrap and freeze, then defrost and reheat in the oven or microwave for instant healthy fast food when you need it!

Thinking Outside the Lunchbox: School Lunch Ideas

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My objective this September is to get you thinking “outside the Lunchbox”! Preparation is the key to better, more varied lunches, and the good news is it’s not as hard as you think!

my maritime hodgepodge

maritime hodgepodge

I have to admit, Maritime Hodgepodge, traditionally made with lots of butter and heavy cream, was never a summer staple in my house growing up. But since returning to Nova Scotia, I’ve been served it on a number of occasions, and have also had a few requests recently to come up with a healthier version.

zesty kale caesar salad

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This is the holy kitchen trifecta, as far as I’m concerned: simple, delicious, and nutritious. If you’re feeling all gourmet about it, top with some homemade croutons or even a little crumbled nitrate-free natural bacon.

green goddess dressing

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My most-popular salad dressing, this might just single-handedly change the way you feel about salad! Dairy-free, this dressing is tangy and creamy and frankly, slightly addictive.

mushroom & thyme risotto (oven-baked)

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Risotto is so damn delicious but personally, if I have to stand over two pots, adding hot broth & stirring for an hour, it’s usually not worth it to me. Enter genius hack: oven-baked risotto. So easy, still creamy, and it works with brown rice so you get a healthier wholegrain version. A gourmet dish with minimal effort. What’s not to love?

sweet coconut veggie curry (crockpot)

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Simple & sweet with a touch of heat, this is a family-friendly crockpot recipe you’ll love to come home to. Serve over brown basmati rice for a comforting, nutritious dinner.    

banana chocolate chia breakfast cookies

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Great news! Breakfast cookies are a thing, and these just happen to be gluten, dairy & and refined sugar-free, but somehow still decadent enough to eat for dessert! Safe for the lunchbox, they also make a terrific recess snack.

roasted cauliflower & asiago soup

roasted cauliflower & asiago soup

Dead easy, this healthy, creamy soup is mild enough to be kid-friendly and layered in flavour to please the adults. If you are dairy-free, just omit the cheese.

black bean burrito bowls (rice cooker)

black bean burrito bowl

Easiest dinner ever! It cooks up in one pot (the rice cooker or slow cooker) making cleanup a breeze. It will take about 45-50 minutes in a rice cooker. Eat it straight from the bowl or wrap it up burrito-style!

honey & date sweetened oatmeal muffins

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These perfectly moist & sweet muffins are 100% whole grain and contain no refined sugar. Nut-free, they’re perfect for school lunches and freeze well. Bet you can’t eat just one!

springtime frittata with asparagus, parsley & goat cheese

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I need it to be Spring. So. Badly. Sometimes you’ve just got to take matters into your own hands: fresh parsley, green asparagus baked with eggs and melty goat cheese make me a believer (even with that 6 foot snowdrift outside my kitchen window).

Creamy Carrot Soup with Yoghurt & Cumin

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Too many carrots!! Had to clear out the veggie drawer before the next farm share box this week, and this carrotty deliciousness was the result. Creamy and tangy, this is a very healthy, versatile soup recipe.

savoury crockpot lentil stew

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This very easy family-friendly crockpot stew is my last kick at a comforting winter recipe. I’m optimistic Spring will soon be upon us! (Am I crazy?)

chocolate chip banana bread

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My kids love this healthier banana bread! I throw it in their lunches with dried fruit, a yoghurt, and carrot sticks on the side for a healthy lunch. A simple and healthy “treat” recipe, it’s is dairy-free, contains no refined sugar, and is made with 100% whole grain flour.

“Triple” Chocolate Cookies

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Let the Official Week of All Things Chocolate (and “healthier”) begin! Can you believe the secret ingredients in these delicious nuggets of chocolatey goodness is white beans? The ingredient list may be surprising, but my kids absolutely go crazy for these cookies. They are really good. (And flourless and gluten-free.) In case you were about to cry […]

nutty napa slaw

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Got winter cabbage? This healthy coleslaw is a slightly-spiced, peanutty crowd-pleaser. Perfect as a side with grilled meat or fish or as a light lunch with some chickpeas or cooked chicken tossed in.

Make-Ahead Mason Jar Holiday Gifts

Here are three, awesome gifts, packaged in a cute Martha-Stewarty mason jar, that you can make in advance, store in your freezer, and pull out when unexpected company pops by or you need a last-minute gift! You can find the Pumpkin Pie Spice ingredients here: http://www.simple-balance.ca/2014/12/homemade-pumpkin-pie-spice/

homemade pumpkin pie spice

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I use this spice in most of my holiday baking and it’s so easy and inexpensive to make yourself I never buy it pre-made anymore. It also makes a great hostess gift if you package it in a simple mason jar with some festive twine.

keeping your holiday balance

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Staying healthy over the holidays can be challenging, but with a little planning and a few helpful strategies, it’s absolutely possible!