Our Happy, Healthy Blog

Posted by Shivma on June 19, 2016

Take time to appreciate Dad time

dad and babyDad is such an important person in and part of our lives!

 

We often focus so much on mom’s role in a baby or child’s life that we sometimes forget that dads are just as crucial for babies’ health, happiness and development.

 

There are all types of dads and each has a special way that he loves his kids. I just wanted us as moms or moms-to-be to remember the importance of allowing dads and babies to bond from the moments of pregnancy and beyond.

 

As new moms, we often hover and feel the need to always be near our babies but we need to step back just a tiny bit and let the dads have that space and time to make a connection and to build a relationship with their baby too.

 

For some dads, bonding comes naturally from the moment mom is pregnant but for others it takes a little encouragement. Let dad talk to your belly, encourage him to participate in taking care of the baby. This could simply mean letting him change a diaper or bathing the baby or rocking the baby. Let him know that he is a vital part of his child’s life.

 

Give dad the confidence to make his own discoveries about baby’s likes and dislikes and to bond in his own way. The connection that is made and the relationship that is forged at this early stage will last forever.

 

So this Father’s Day, let’s show our appreciation to all the dads and dads-to-be for their unwavering support and tireless work for their families. Maybe we can even cook him a Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna!

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, dads-to-be and moms who are dads too!

Posted by Shivma on June 14, 2016

Overnight Spiced Oats

Spiced OatsOats are very versatile and if I can help it I use them in everything! Like most moms I know, I’m ALWAYS in a rush on mornings and preparing breakfast for myself doesn’t always happen.

 

Enter my Overnight Spiced Oats! They have the aroma and taste of warm spices but they can be made ahead of time and you don’t have to stand over the stove waiting for the oats to cook.

 

My kids usually enjoy their oats warm but the first time I made this my 2 year old ate the whole bowl! So much for my breakfast!

 

Plus, this breakfast is packed full of nutrients that are great for kids, grown ups and mommies-to-be!

 

The chia seeds provide a nice serving of fibre, protein, calcium and Omega 3s (something we are usually short on in our diets). The bananas are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium (necessary for the proper functioning of your heart and kidneys), magnesium for bone health and folate which is crucial for a baby’s early stage development.

 

Overnight Spiced Oats

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 very ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp maple syrup/ honey (optional)

 

Toppings

1/4 cup granola

1/4 cup mixed berries

 

Directions

  • In a bowl, mix oats, mashed banana, milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  • When ready to eat, add maple syrup/ honey if desired and stir well. If it’s too thick, you can add some more milk.
  • Top with your favourite toppings. I enjoy using my granola.
  • Enjoy!
Posted by Shivma on February 22, 2016

Meatless Monday: Tofu in Chili Garlic Sauce

I really love dishes that you can get everything in one. They are definitely my go to meals. It means less clean up for me and a one-stop nutritious meal for everyone else. It’s a win-win in my book.

 

 

Tofu is great and very versatile. It’s essentially flavourless so you can make it taste like whatever you want. It’s also loaded with nutrients like protein, fibre, vitamin A, thiamin, folic acid, calcium, zinc, iron and anti-cancer phytonutrients which makes it fantastic for growing kids and expectant moms!

 

This recipe takes a little more effort because you need to fry the tofu first. But once that’s done, it’s quick and easy. Dinner in less than 30 minutes!

 

After frying the tofu, you simply whisk the sauce in a bowl.

 

Heat the oil and garlic and add the veggies. Cook until softened.

 

Then add the sauce and tofu and simmer for a few minutes.

 

And there you go! A nutrient dense, great tasting meal!

 

Ingredients

1 lb. firm tofu, cubed

1 medium sweet pepper, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

For the Chili Garlic sauce:

1 tbsp ketchup

4 tbsp chili sauce

1/2 tsp ginger

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp arrowroot flour/ cornstarch

 

Directions

  • Fry cubed tofu in oil until golden brown. Set aside.

  • In a bowl, whisk all ingredients for the sauce until well combined. Set aside.

  • Heat sauté pan, add oil and garlic. Cook until aromatic.

  • Add sweet peppers and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until peppers have softened.

  • Add sauce and stir.

  • Add tofu and combine until covered in sauce. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

  • Remove from heat and serve with brown rice or noodles.

  • Enjoy!

Posted by Shivma on February 1, 2016

Meatless Monday: Creamy Mushroom Pasta

This Creamy Mushroom pasta is a recipe I find myself using when I’m short on time or I don’t know what else to cook. I love it because it’s easy and my kids love it because it has cream cheese!

 

 

This meal only takes as long to make as it takes to boil the pasta. While the pasta is cooking you can prep and cook the mushrooms. Fifteen minutes at most, I swear! And it’s delicious and nutritious. The mushrooms are a great source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate. They are also a very good source of dietary fibre. The cream cheese provides protein and calcium and if you add a salad you get the additional benefits of iron, vitamins C and E and some B vitamins too!

 

So while you’re cooking the pasta, heat a pan and add the butter.

 

Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and toss to coat all and then cook for a few minutes.

 

Add the cream cheese.

 

Keep stirring until it’s incorporated and you have a nice creamy sauce. Adjust your salt and pepper to taste.

 

Place on top of cooked pasta and serve. I like to add a salad just to balance out my meal with some colourful veggies.

 

Ingredients

1 box pasta of choice (I choose whole grain twists)

1 pack mini portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 tbsp garlic & herb butter (I use Kerrygold Garlic & Herb butter)

3-4 tbsp cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions and set aside.

  • Melt garlic & herb butter in a pan, be careful not to burn the butter.

  • Add mushrooms and toss until coated in garlic butter. Cook for a few minutes.

  • Add cream cheese and stir constantly until fully melted and incorporated.

  • The sauce should be thick and creamy.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Remove from pan and serve with pasta.

Posted by Shivma on January 11, 2016

Honey Oat Raisin Muffin

I thought I’d start the year off with something sweet and easy. This is a great little muffin that I like to make at the start of the week so my kids can have it as a snack all week. I make them in mini muffin tins but you can make them in the bigger ones and have them for breakfast.

 

 

They’re filled with vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, fibre and are a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fat – all the things you need to start your day off right! Not to mention they taste great!

 

It’s really quick and your kids can help with it.

 

Before you start, mash the banana until almost liquid and set aside. Then combine all the dry ingredients.

 

Whisk the oil and honey.

 

Add the mixture and the milk to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

 

Add the mashed bananas and raisin and mix until incorporated. The mixture will seem a bit heavy but I promise these muffins are super soft and very light.

 

Pour in muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

 

Let cool and enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup oat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup oil

2 tbsp milk

2 medium bananas (very ripe)

1/2 cup raisins

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350C. Line 2 mini muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • Mash bananas until almost liquid. Set aside.
  • Combine first 5 ingredients.
  • Whisk oil and honey then add to dry ingredients together with milk.
  • Add mashed bananas and mix well.
  • Add raisins and mix until just incorporated.
  • Pour into liners (I like to fill 3/4 way up because these muffins rise nicely)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.