Posted in Healthy, Home Economics, Kid Friendly, Opinions & Commentaries, Recipes

Time Management: In the kitchen?

Transferable skills taught at home? 

Do you think that it’s only in school and jobs that teach them? Time management in the kitchen can translate into more than you think. 

Home economics and recipes teach this widely sought after resume-listed skill? Yes. Absolutely. I’m not kidding.  And you can teach an 8 year old the rules of physics and chemistry while you are at it. Just let them cook on their own at home. The first time they burn something, they have just learned a lesson about timing and attention to detail. 

I realized that I’m not SuperMom. But I have great organization and understand timing is very important. (Anyone ever dated and had that one that got away only to find a better match came along? )

I made the following tonight in 1.5 hours including me feeding three kids and sitting down to eat myself within that! 

Meat sauce with whole wheat pasta cooking.
  
Butternut squash (3 large) turned into the leaning tower of future side dishes.
  

Classic apple crisp is a great dessert, snack or breakfast.

We ended up with enough leftovers and frozen meals to eat healthy for days!

So how did I manage to make dinner before the older one’s youth group (with best friend in tow)?

Timing

Kitchen Tip: If you have a recipe down pat, and you know the timing, fit it in between regular dinner cooking. 

How? 

Cook the meal you decided on but also preheat the oven. While its cooking, prepare another recipe that requires the oven and has a similar temperature. When the dinner is done, throw in the second prepped recipe (in this case apple crisp) and sit down to eat. Put the timer on for the “oven”/second recipe. When it goes off, check to see if it’s ready. If so, remove to cool while you finish your dinner. (Or serve it, if you made a two course meal or dessert.)

My more advanced Home Economics skills (food/nutrition, time/balance, frugal/financial) allowed me to also prep the butternut squash (wash, cut, scoop) after throwing on a pot of water (for the pasta). I started the sauce on medium heat on the stovetop so I could finish prepping the squash. Then threw it in while I turned up the heat on the sauce. 

Why even bother doing this kitchen dance? 

To try saving energy costs and your valuable personal time, by using your hot oven and prepping meals ahead.  

But really, this is a lesson in time management. Possibly multi-tasking. It’s like a juggler honing their craft. Begin with one ball and work your way up to juggling two. If you can do three, you’ll be Queen/King of your kitchen. 

It’s a great thing to teach your kids too. Deadlines in school are real and teach the same thing. Why not have them learn the same skill a different way while giving them tangible cooking skills at home (sadly these aren’t taught in schools anymore)?

And if for nothing else, a kitchen lesson with them in the lead one evening might give them an appreciation for why one night their meal got burnt because you were too busy helping with their art project due the next day. 😉

*Reading a recipe or cookbook does not teach one how to cook, but it is in making messes and mistakes that one masters their kitchen, home and life. ~S.Venneri 

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Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

Product Review: Sol Cuisine Sprouted Quinoa Chia Burgers

A quick post after a very hectic personal life was necessary tonight. 

A busy night of kid activities led us trying this product. 

  
My little one has been begging to be in a blog post ever since the older one was featured in one trying NuPasta. 

We had NO burger buns and tried them right out of the microwave. It took over 3 minutes: a bit more than the two minutes on the instructions but I won’t split hairs. 

My little one did manage to quickly split …. 
… the burger and the blog post.  

Don’t you love the IKEA kid plates. She sets the table (chore charts are a parent’s best friend I tell you) so sometimes we dine on plastic. 

The results were unanimous. 

  

We didn’t like them all that much. 

Green plate: I ate mine.

Yellow plates: The little one had one bite and chose carrots, an apple, cheese and whole wheat toast instead. (NOTICE: 3 food groups and everything she can make herself. Mom only makes dinner once and needs to feed herself too!) 

The big one took one bite and opted for oatmeal and fruit juice. (She’s been heavy on the fibre lately so I know she’s getting her veggies and fruits during the rest of the day.)

This product has a very noticeable quinoa crunch with the old fashioned veggie burger taste. 

Microwaving is not optimal as a cooking method. They were kind of soggy in the middle but dry and crispy on the edges. 

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to cook
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
  • No soy filler
  • Source of fibre
  • Source of iron
  • Made in Canada (but not all are Canadian ingredients)
  • Ingredients (except modified cellulose) are real food ingredients

Cons:

  • Cost – Expensive at over $6 for 4 (71g) patties 
  • Very veggie taste – not a good hamburger alternative/swap
  • Not kid friendly 
  • Texture is crunchy and soggy
  • Nutrition facts table does not give a great display of the healthy fats possibly present
  • Lower in protein than I expected
  • Required to be in the freezer, not the fridge & cooked thoroughly. 

So this is a thumbs down, no thank you, will not buy again product. 

I was highly disappointed in the product but truly bought it myself with the hopes it would shine bright like the package. 

I ate it. It’s not terrible, but being the omnivore that I am, it’s definitely not as delicious as my regular beef, chicken or venison alternatives. It’s definitely not a product you serve at a BBQ thinking “those (traditional) people won’t know the difference”.  

For those of you on certain diets (vegan, gluten free) or allergic to soy, this product is something you might want to try if it goes on sale. Or clearance. 

It’s just not my cup of tea.