5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Great News for your Family’s Health!

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your summer and are not letting the start of the school year stress you out too much. See my previous camp and school lunch ideas and stay tuned for more! Also coming up soon, new product reviews and Jewish holiday menus and recipes.

So, here is the great news!


If you have read my book, “The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – simply and sanely,” you know that triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient in soap and hand sanitizer doesn’t work well, doesn’t prevent colds or flu, and actually may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Now, the FDA has banned the use of triclosan and triclocarban in some products. “The FDA’s final rule covers only consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes that are used with water. It does not apply to hand sanitizers or hand wipes. It also does not apply to antibacterial soaps that are used in health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.”

See this NPR story for more information about the ban of those two chemicals and 17 more. This is a great start towards dealing with the increased antibiotic resistance we’re facing as a society. Another great step would be to ban the routine use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. See this CDC page for more information.


99¢ GF, V, LS-Simple Healthy Delights

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Mine has obviously been busy because you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks!

One thing I’ve been doing is cooking from this great new cookbook sent to me for review.

“Simple Healthy Delights: Quick and Tasty Plant Based Recipes for Everyone” by Angie Hofmann
(Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low Sugar)

This cookbook is ideal if you are looking to build your skills making plant-based meals. Many of the recipes are raw and will help focus you on vegetables and other whole food ingredients.

Simple Healthy Delights
(If you are reading this blog post in your email, you’ll have to “click to view in your browser” to see the links below.)

Some of the recipes I’ve made include the following (see my notes below):

l. Lemon Herb Dressing
This dressing was delicious. I just wanted to find more things to pour it on. The recipe makes a lot, fyi.

2. Greek Salad
It’s a Greek Salad that is sans-feta, but still delicious. There are many Tofu Feta recipes online, including this one from The Washington Post that I made recently. Although delicious, I didn’t want to take the effort to make it again, so I added thin slices of one of the few of the new sophisticated nut cheeses that is Kosher certified, Treeline Cheese. It’s not the same flavor, but definitely delicious.

3. Hearts of Palm and Cucumber Salad
This recipe calls for a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt. With all that lemon herb dressing around, I couldn’t help but just pour that on! There are a series of cucumber salads that can help you focus on the pleasure of fresh, raw vegetables.

4.  Almond Lemon Spread
This is basically a nut pate. I used it in many ways, including in a nori wrap with red pepper and spinach; on Plentils Garlic Parmesan crackers; and on top of baby kale.

5. Cold Cucumber Mint Soup
I was able to make this using mint from my backyard. I liked it. However, I recommend it as a refreshing appetizer in shot glasses, rather than a soup you would sit and eat from a big bowl with a spoon.

6. (Raw) Amazing Chocolate “Cream” Pie
For the uninitiated, in the world of plant-based cooking, “cream” is achieved using cashews and the pie is solidified in the freezer, not the oven. In the directions for this pie, Angie Hofmann suggests pulling it out of the freezer and waiting 10 minutes before eating for just the right texture. She is right! I tried it a couple minutes after pulling it out and then 10 minutes later. Amazing. It did require pulling out the food processor, but it was worth it to me.

For 99 cents, you certainly can’t go wrong with the e-book!



5 MORE Healthy Camp Lunch Ideas

Here are 5 MORE great ideas for easy, healthy camp lunches this summer! These are based on the feedback and additional questions I got from last week’s 5 Fun and Healthy Camp Lunch Ideas post.

The big follow up question: What about protein?
1-I was surprised but some people still haven’t heard about sunflower seed butter. This is a great alternative to peanut butter, particularly when school or camp is completely nut (not just peanut) free. Dr Praeger’s Sunwiches are a healthy, whole wheat, no peanut version of the super processed white bread pb and js found in the freezer section. I’ve also found sunflower seed butter mixed with maple syrup. Delish!

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Bonus fun idea – Don’t forget to add the little touches to your child’s lunch. Especially before they can read well, who needs a love note when you send a love pepper?! Just cut down from the top and pare where needed to shape the pepper into a heart. You can also cut the bottom off for a flower affect.

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If your child”s lunch needs to be completely SEED free…well, you have my sympathies. That is tough. That also eliminates my suggested option below: 2 – hummus (Chickpeas okay. Tahini made from sesame seeds not ok.) Kids love to dip. Actually, I put half a pita in this lunch too. There’s a choice then to dip or stuff. The salad works very well to stuff into the pita with hummus. Some kids might enjoy adding diced veggies or cucumber rounds to their sandwich. If it’s too hard to stuff, they can just use each half of the pita like pieces of bread and make a sandwich. Just try for whole wheat and watch out for dough conditioners and preservatives.

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In all seriousness, if your child’s lunch also needs to be seed free, I do have more than sympathy for you. I have three ideas to provide plant-based protein in a seed-free and nut-free lunch.

3 – Simply make your own hummus and skip the tahini. Play with seasonings to find what works for you. Add pita, veggies and salad.

4 – White bean dip can be made with a number of herbs and spices, depending on your child’s likes and dislikes. Think lemon, basil, cilantro or smoked paprika.

5 – Mix 1 small jar salsa with 1 can drained and rinsed black beans. Blend with an immersion blender, regular blender or small food processor. Add tortilla chips (organic of course!) and veggies to dip.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and seeing pictures of your results over on my Facebook page!