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Preppin’ for Thanksgiving Eats!

Preppin’ for Thanksgiving Eats!

Thanksgiving weekend is HERE…and what’s not to love?  Like most holidays ..the 4 F’s are in play…Have you heard of the 4 F’s? – we’re talking about FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOOD & of course FUN!

Whenever the family gets together for holiday festivities, there is usually a lot of food – and a lot of thought that goes into planning that incredible food for specific events.  On a holiday, the focus tends to stray away from “healthy” and move towards “indulgence” “moderation” “sometimes foods”…BUT …question for you?  Is there …maybe…a place for a bit of healthy on a Thanksgiving weekend?

We’ll let you decide…

We’ve gathered a few tips to help you enjoy your flavourful harvest feast without all the full, sleepy, bloated-ness after. But don’t worry we won’t be messing with the pumpkin pie!

First…

If you’re the cook or bringing a main dish the power is in your hands! Try making the dressing from scratch. You’ll impress the family and feel good about avoid using high-sodium boxed stuffings that are often found in the grocery store.  We found an awesome Crockpot Cranberry Apple Stuffing and a Classic Stuffing. Not up for a bread based side dish? Maybe you need a gluten free option that everyone will love! Turn things around all together with this stuffed butternut squash.

Second…

How does your plate look? Try for 50% vegetables. I’m talking grilled asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, peas or salad, all the good stuff. Then we do 25% starchy carbs; maybe you choose the mashed potato with gravy, maybe you choose the whole wheat bun your grandma made fresh, or, or, orrrrr a spoonful of stuffing. And – Yesss you can do half stuffing, half potato. Lastly, 25% of that juicy turkey, or any other protein of choice.

Third…

Let’s talk about leftovers. Everyone wants that turkey and gravy sandwich the next day after we have SOMEHOW digested all that food. But you can have way more fun with leftovers than that. How about a cranberry salad with added turkey, a turkey sandwich amped up with lettuce and cranberry sauce (hold the gravy), or making a turkey soup (save the bones for soup!).

This is what we are trying in our kitchen this weekend:

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Homemade Stuffing

Stayed tuned for some instagram updates on those recipes this weekend! @balanceyourcart

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo Kelly & Johanna

Make Time to Enjoy Meal Time!

Make Time to Enjoy Meal Time!

What’s for dinner? Where are we eating dinner? Do we even have time for dinner?

Between after school activities and lessons, healthy family dinners often take a back seat. Yet, family meals are so important!

Sitting down to a meal after a busy day is an amazing “RESET”.  No matter how big or small your family is, they offer a time for sharing stories, learning manners and eating nutritious foods.  And if you have kids, research shows the benefits go further to helping improve dietary intake and mental & physical health…including lowered risk of substance abuse and the prevention of disordered eating.

Despite these benefits, eating a meal as a family can easily become a rare occurrence…found only at holidays or when celebrating special events.  Don’t feel guilty…it happens…but with proper planning you can make time for family meals throughout the week!

Check out the following article for simple tips to put your meal back on your family agenda 🙂

Take the Complicated out of September!

Take the Complicated out of September!

We’re well into the back to school groove…slowly getting adjusted to the lunch making routine and the need for speedy dinners.  How have you been making out?  Maybe it’s still feeling a bit overwhelming…and that’s okay!  Sometimes it can take a couple weeks to get back into a routine.

Keep things simple …especially during times where a lot of change is taking place.  First place to keep it simple is…in the kitchen!  Don’t overcomplicate your life with elaborate weekday meals.  Here we have a delicious Pear & Apple Chicken Salad Wrap that can easily be made as a quick weekday dinner…or even for work/school lunches if you have leftover chicken from the night before! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked in garlic and lemon juice
  • 2 cups of salad greens of your choice
  • 1 Bartlett Pear, washed, cored and sliced
  • 1 Gala Apple, washed, cored and sliced
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • 4-6 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 4 Tbsp. of Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped dill
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Feta Cheese (optional)

Directions

1. Cook chicken at 375 F in oven for about 40 minutes – until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise with the chopped dill to make a dressing.

3. Wash and chop apple, pear, red onion and celery.

4. Spread each tortilla with the mayonnaise mixture. Divide the salad greens and bite sized chicken pieces between each tortilla. Top with apple, pear, red onion, celery and feta cheese.

5. Fold the sides of the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Place in a container for school lunches. Make sure it’s kept in the refrigerator or a cooler if going to be in room temperature for more than 2 hours!

Your Child’s Favourite Teacher!

Your Child’s Favourite Teacher!

Happy Labour Day!

Summer is a time for kids to learn and explore…and the learning definitely doesn’t stop after today – because yes, it’s BACK TO SCHOOL.    Do I hear any cheers?!?!  Maybe from the parents ..and hopefully from the kids too!  It’s an exciting time and as a parent, you are definitely a teacher for your child everyday.  You may even be your child’s FAVOURITE teacher…hopefully you get a back to school present for that award 🙂

What your kids will learn in school this year can be supplemented with what you teach them in your kitchen.  It doesn’t need to be about hitting the books all the time!

Make your kitchen a classroom to teach your kids a ton of practical applications of their studies:

Math: working with fractions and measuring ingredients

Reading: following recipes and naming ingredients on labels

Writing: Making grocery lists, weekly family meal plans

Science: Watching how ingredients work together to make a final creation

Check out the following article to find quick and easy meals that can be created with your kids as helpers!