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How to get kids to eat veggies

CTV Live: Getting Your Kids To Eat Veggies

Watch the segment HERE.

During my recent visit to CTV Live in Ottawa, Leanne Lang and I discussed the impossible…how to get more veggies into your kids’ diets!

As you will see, this is not an impossible task and it can actually be a lot of fun.

Watch the segment HERE.

Helpful links:

Magic Bullet: Check it out HERE.

Paleoethics Greens Mix: Check it out HERE.

Learn about Jicama HERE.

And you can get the Avocado Chocolate Pudding Recipe HERE.

For simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Eggplant Pizza Crust

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Special Instruments: food processor with chopping blade
, 2 feet of cheesecloth, 100% cotton (meant for cooking), parchment paper and a baking sheet

Ingredients For Crust

Approximately 2 pounds fresh eggplant (weigh them at the grocery store), chopped finely in the food processor with chopping blade

1⁄2 cup shredded raw cheese

1⁄2 cup almond flour

1 egg

Toppings for Pizza

Choose your favorite toppings and prepare them while the crust is cooking.

Instructions For Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet.
  3. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a bit larger than the baking sheet. 
Place the paper on the baking sheet and grease it (yes, grease the parchment paper.)

Preparing the Eggplant

  1. Finely chop all of the eggplant in the food processor. Using the cheesecloth, wring out as much water as possible from the chopped eggplant.
  2. Place the drained eggplant, cheese, almond flour and egg in a bowl and mix with your hands. The “dough” will feel quite wet.
  3. Transfer the eggplant mixture on to the greased parchment paper/cookie sheet.
  4. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a rectangle, about a quarter inch thick or to fit your cookie sheet.
  5. Place cookie sheet in oven.
  6. While the crust is cooking, prepare your favorite toppings.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese in the crust has browned and the crust feels relatively dry. The edges of the crust should be shrinking away from the edge of the baking sheet.
  8. Remove crust from the oven.

Flipping the Crust

  1. Grab the edges of the parchment paper and slide the paper and crust onto a cutting board. With the oven mitts still on, place the baking sheet back over top of the crust. Now flip the baking sheet and cutting board over so that the baking sheet is now on the bottom. Remove the cutting board. Peel the parchment paper from the pizza crust. Now your crust has been flipped and is ready to go back in the oven.
  2. Return the pizza crust to the oven for 7-10 minutes, until it feels dry to the touch. Remove from oven.
  3. Top pizza with your favorite toppings.
  4. Return prepared pizza to oven and broil until the cheese is melted and browned to your liking.

Yield: 3-4 servings with a salad on the side

Easy Prep Tips

  1. Chop and drain your eggplant the day before. It will brown in color but will still taste great.
  2. Use a strainer in place of the cheesecloth to drain the eggplant. Just push down on the chopped eggplant in the strainer to press out the water.

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Fulfilled Podcast image

Guest Appearance: The Fulfilled Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Dr. Shawna Dingman who created The Fulfilled Podcast.

She interviews successful moms who are in business and she discusses the strategies that we use to stay on top…of everything.

In our interview we talked about

  • the importance of creating a life vision (how to make one and the risks of not having one).
  • We talked about meal prep (what it is, how you can make it work in your life and how it will change your life…and save you 7-10 hours a week).
  • We also talked about how to get the kids to have a vision and get involved in meal prep.

And here is the link to that Meal Prep Video we talked about!

It was a privilege to be on the podcast. I hope you enjoy it.

Listen here and enjoy!

Or use one of these links…

For great By Design recipes why not check out my cookbook! It is a 28 day meal plan with weekly grocery lists and food prep guides! Or you can download the first week for FREE!

7 foods for faster meal prep

7 Foods for Faster Meal Prep

Meal prepping is all about getting your food prepped in advance so that you have less cooking to do when you actually need the meals most. It’s a great concept right?

But doing all that prep takes time.

So I want to show you seven of my favourite foods that you can use for faster meal prep.

Getting all of that chopping and mincing out of the way in advance can literally change your life on weeknights when time is precious and food is needed quickly.

Now, some of these items may not be available just yet at your local grocery store but I want to give a huge shout out to President’s Choice (who are not sponsoring this post in way) for the fact that they carry many of these items.

I’ll bet someone in that company is a fellow food prepping, busy mom who understands our needs!

frozen grilled veggies

My favourite frozen veggies

1. Frozen Veggies

Frozen veggies are economical. But even more importantly, they are often more nutritious than their fresh veggie counterparts from the supermarket.

The reason for this is that these veggies are frozen sooner after being harvested which means that they retain more nutrients than veggies that have had to travel across the world in their fresh state, to sit on a truck and then wait in the produce section, before reaching our dinner plates.

And most importantly, frozen veggies are prepped ready to be cooked. They can be thrown into a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper or roasted and topped with a little goat’s cheese or they can be added directly to soups and stews with no washing, peeling or chopping!

2. Cauliflower Rice

When you are maximizing the amount of nutrients you get from your food want to be eating lots of vegetables.

Compare the nutrients in rice with those in vegetables and the veggies are going to come out on top every time so a simple substitution is to use grated cauliflower instead of rice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, cutting up a head of cauliflower and putting the florets into the food processor is not really difficult work but it is messy…the cauliflower seems to get on everything when you try to wash your dishes. And don’t even get me started on trying to do this with a hand grater!

So finding these bags of prepared cauliflower pearls (aka rice)  was definitely a win because I know it will save many heads of cauliflower from going to waste in well meaning peoples’ fridges.

avocado3. Frozen Avocado

Did you even know that avocado could be frozen? Yes!

In fact, it freezes so well that you can take it out, defrost it and create a guacamole that is so fresh and creamy you would never know it had been frozen.

And honestly, the price point for a 400g bag is similar to what I would pay for a bag of five avocados that I would still have to peel myself and the amount of guacamole was possibly even more than I would get from all of the fresh ones!

So frozen avocado it is with the exception of days when I am prepping guacamole to freeze (which now you know you is possible)! In that case, I buy fresh avocados.

butternut squash4. Frozen Butternut Squash Cubes

This one is a huge time saver.

Yes, it is a frozen vegetable and could have been left in that category.

But if you have ever peeled a butternut squash, you know that having it peeled, seeded and cubed, ready to throw on a cookie sheet for roasting or into directly into your soup or stew, is priceless. So it gets it’s own category.

garlic 5. Peeled Garlic

I guess it depends on how much garlic you use but if you find you don’t use a lot, I recommend you use more:-).

Garlic is known for its antifungal properties in the human body as well as its usefulness is supporting the immune system. Plus, it tastes fantastic and can bring a dish to the next level.

If a recipe calls for two garlic cloves, I use four. You just can’t get enough garlic.

So this peeled garlic comes in handy because most of the work is done for you. I can just take it out of the bag and chop it. And the only ingredient is garlic!

At such a low price point, although I do not condone wasting food, I am ok if I do not get though the whole bag.

shrimp6. Raw Peeled Shrimp (when it is on sale)

Shrimp is not cheap. I get that. And buying “Easy Peel Raw Shrimp” is less expensive but when it comes to meal prep for four, peeling up to 80 individual shrimp is just not a great way to spend your time.

Shrimp makes such a great meal prep option because all you need to do is make whatever sauce or marinade you plan to cook it in and once it is cool, add it to the frozen shrimp and put it right back in the freezer (in a sealed bag or container).

And then, when you want to enjoy the shrimp, you just defrost it and throw in a pan with a little olive oil or butter until it is cooked through. Better yet, pair it with cauliflower rice!

I’m telling you, there may be nothing easier than meal prepping shrimp.

So every now and then your grocery store will put the peeled raw shrimp on sale and that is a time to grab a bunch of bags. We use two bags per meal, which is about two pounds for a family of four.

salad7. Bagged Salad

And finally, bagged salad.

You want about three quarters of your plate to be covered in vegetables and one of the easiest ways to do that is by having a salad with every meal.

And although salad can be very easy to put together, that whole washing the lettuce part and cutting up the veggies task usually leads to everything just rotting in my fridge because I don’t do it.

So I generally like to meal prep one salad and then buy a bagged salad to tide me over once the first salad is eaten…(and as a side note…sometimes I just go through two bags of salad instead of making any myself)!

In closing…

We all know that meal prep can be a big task if you make it that way and the bigger your meal prep, the bigger the payoff in the week ahead but if you keep your out eye out for hacks like these, you can make a big meal prep day go even faster.

What are some of your favourite foods for faster meal prep? Please comment below.

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Stuffed Peppers

When you are looking for a quick supper, one of the easiest things you can do is take a vegetable….and stuff it!

These stuffed peppers are made with cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice which makes them more nutrient dense (veggies vs rice…veggies win)!

Now, the cooking time on this recipe is not short but the prep work is pretty simple. So it is an excellent make-ahead meal. If you are meal prepping, you can just prepare the filling if you like. Then, on D-day (as in dinner day) you can put the stuffing into the peppers, make the sauce and bake them. Or you can make the whole recipe at once, bake it and then stick it in the freezer for when you are ready!

You can also double or triple this recipe. And if you have leftovers of the filling, I recommend adding it to a super yummy omelette!

The italian sausage totally takes these peppers to the next level.

Stuffed Peppers

For the sauce

  • 1 onion diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (your favourite flavour like basil, bolognese or three cheese)
  • 1 cup broth, chicken or beef
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers

For the filling

  • 1 400g bag frozen cauliflower florets or 1 head fresh cauliflower
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound italian sausage, squeezed from casings
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 teapsoon salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 4 multi-color peppers cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF
  2. Add olive oil to a medium sized pan over medium low heat.
  3. Add onion and cook until the onion is soft, just a few minutes. Transfer half of the onion to a large bowl.
  4. Add the marinara, broth, vinegar and crushed red peppers to the pan. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Pour the sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  6. Combine all of the filling ingredients except the peppers and parmesan.
  7. Using your hands, fill each pepper with filling and place the peppers, pepper side down into the sauce in the baking dish.
  8. Once the peppers are all stuffed and in the dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese if using.
  9. Cover the baking dish with foil and cook for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake until the cheese is browning on top and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF (just a few more minutes).

    Serves 4-6

    Thanks Chef John for creating an awesome recipe that inspired me to make just a few tweaks to make it just the way I want it.

    Want some easy meal prep ideas? Get my FREE “4 Easy Meal Prep Ideas” download that includes four of my favorite, super-easy recipes that you can prep in advance so that you have food ready when you need it! You can get that by clicking HERE.