kid-friendly recipes

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

A delicious from-scratch version that is way better than canned!

How to Make Old-Fashioned Ginger Ale

How to Make Old-Fashioned Ginger Ale

This is a perfect drink to both replenish the body after an afternoon in the sun, and to help heal digestion, which is so very important to our overall well-being. The best part? It tastes GREAT!

Egg-Nog Rice Pudding Custard (Dairy-Free)

A tradition passed down from my paternal grandparents was Sunday Night Rice Pudding as the meal. I'm guessing it was an easy meal for Grandma to make at the end of her "day of rest", especially since the rest of the day may have been less than relaxing after the big Sunday lunch after church for a family of 11 plus whatever guests they had over.

Growing up, we had Rice Pudding on Sunday nights about half the time--Sundays were also the night of my Dad's hockey league games, and a meal of just rice pudding didn't provide the long-term energy he needed, so we often had other things, or Rice Pudding as dessert only.

Our family does this far less. But, on occasion, it makes a great, light, "snacky" meal, albeit not the healthiest one ever because of the starch and sweets. I made a modified, "healthy" version many years ago that had more eggs and less sugar than most recipes I had found, but was still delicious... and a treat that shows up far less than my kids would like. :-)

On a recent Sunday night, faced with a shortage of protein items in the house (except eggs), and less cooked rice than I would usually use in a Rice Pudding recipe to feed my hungry boys, not to mention my lactose-intolerant Levi (another reason this menu item is not on really regular rotation), I decided to modify it yet again.

So, here is my dairy-free version that is more a custard than a rice pudding, and a much more acceptable meal replacement than a straight dessert. It turned out pretty good. The family mostly liked it--although the vote was that the "normal" recipe was slightly better. (Duh! Dessert!)

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Egg-Nog Rice Pudding Custard (Dairy-Free)

Makes about 8 cups. Serves 6-8 as the only menu item, or twice that as a side.

In lg. casserole (about 4-5 qt.), mix:

1 doz. eggs, beaten
1 400 mL can coconut milk
1 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. vanilla
8 c. cooked brown rice
2/3 c. seedless raisins
1/4 c. hemp hearts or pumpkin seeds

Mix well. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake covered at 375 degrees for 50 minutes*, or until set and knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with cinnamon and cream (or coconut milk or oil.)

*If you opt to halve this recipe, I recommend cooking at 350 degrees rather than shortening the time for a more even bake.

Coconut Vegetable Soup

Now that we have a lactose-intolerant child in the family, I have had to revamp our menu quite a bit, obviously. Soup is still my favourite way to get kids to eat their vegetables, and here is a family favourite that has shown up a few times on the menu.

Download a 4"x6" recipe card version.

Coconut Vegetable Soup

Makes about 12 cups.

3 c. chicken stock
1 can (13 oz.) lite coconut milk
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 celery sticks, chopped
3-4 lg. carrots, chopped
2 med. potatoes, diced in ½” cubes
½ pkg. (4 patties) instant noodles
2 tsp. celtic sea salt
½ tsp. oregano
pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar or cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, place stock, coconut milk, vegetables, 1 ½ tsp. salt and oregano. Cook on MEDIUM until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, prepare noodles by boiling enough water to cover them (don’t put them in yet!; about 4-6 cups) with ½ tsp. salt in medium saucepan. Add noodles and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. Move to soup pot with slotted pasta spoon.

Pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and add garnish.

Optional Variation: Add 1 c. cooked diced chicken into the soup for an even heartier meal.


Wasn't That a Party?

Cake is something that doesn't make an appearance here very often, mostly because there is so little to redeem it, as far as nutrients are concerned. As a "recovering sugar addict", I generally don't need to have any more temptation around the house.

However, when birthdays come along, I ask the guest of honour what special dessert they would like to have. More often than not, it is chocolate cake.

Jabin, who turned six on the 21st, seemed to be having a difficult time making up his mind. DQ ice cream? Chocolate cake? Pie? He kept waffling back and forth. I felt bad for the little guy--such a big decision for an almost-six-year-old.

So, this time, I made an exception. On his actual birthday, which was a Monday, I took him and Noah to Dairy Queen for lunch, complete with an ice cream treat (for them) as dessert.

Then, for his party on the following Friday, I made Chocolate Gingerbread cake--served up with even more ice cream!

The Jabin was very pleased.

(And I even snuck in some nutrients, anyway, in the form of pumpkin. Want the recipe?)

I knew it! ;-D

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
(Click to follow link to a PDF 4x6 recipe card.)

olive oil
1 c. butter, softened, divided
1 ¼ c. unpacked whole sugar
1/3 c. molasses
3 eggs
4 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate
2 c. pureed cooked pumpkin (or 1 14-oz. can)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 c. unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt, ground fine
icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray or brush a large Bundt pan with olive oil. 
  2. In large mixing bowl, cream ¾ cup butter and sugar. Mix in molasses and then add eggs one at a time, mixing well. 
  3. Melt remaining butter with chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla into the creamed mixture. 
  4. Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a Bundt pan. 
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before inverting on a cake plate and removing pan. Let cool completely, then dust with icing sugar; serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. 

Note: For a more subtle flavour, the molasses can be left out and the sugar increased to 1 ½ cups.

Copyright 2011 Talena Winters.

Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwiches

I know my dad is going to cringe at this one. He can never resist reminding me that I have, in times past, combined peanut butter and dill pickles. (Dad! I have since heard of other people who do that exact same thing! I am not alone in my strangeness!)

I tried a new peanut butter combination last week that was a total hit with my kids! I put it in a sandwich, but it would also be delicious as a fruit dip with apple wedges. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwiches

Combine until smooth:

1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1/4 cup natural (peanuts-only, NO sugar!) peanut butter
2 tbsp. raw honey (soft)

Wash and core 2 apples with an apple corer, then thinly slice cross-wise. (Leaving the peels on greatly increases the vitamin content. Most of the vitamins in apples are just under and in the skin, especially vitamins A and C.) Spread peanut butter mix on sprouted-grain bread, then arrange apple slices.


Carrot Spice Muffins

Yet another recipe for the Quick Mix repertoire!

Carrot Spice Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins, or up to 36 small ones

3 c. Basic Quick Mix
¼ c. whole sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ c. chopped Crispy Pecans*
1 c. raisins or other dried fruit

2 eggs
¼ c. molasses
¼ c. extra virgin coconut oil or butter, melted**
1 ½ c. milk, buttermilk, or kefir
2 c. carrots, peeled and grated

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well to receive the liquid.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Pour into well. With a wooden spoon, stir just enough to moisten. Fill greased muffin cups ¾ full. (I love using a ¼ c. scoop to fill up my large muffin cups.) Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20-25 minutes.

After removing from oven, let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, and then dump onto cooling rack.

*Crispy Pecan recipe can be found in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

**NEVER use a microwave to melt your butter, or for any other reason—that is, unless you WANT to be part of the statistic about cancer being the leading cause of death… your choice!

©2010 Talena Winters

Fancy Turkey and Feta Casserole

Something a little tasty, and a little special, to use up those turkey leftovers.

Summer Strawberry Smoothie and Freezer Pops

These have been our favourite treat lately. If you don't freeze the mix, it makes a wonderfully refreshing and filling afternoon chiller, as well.

The Simple Things are The Best Things

The Simple Things are The Best Things

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe--a Winters' family favourite!