Garbanzo and Soy Pancakes

20130609-104440.jpgThis is a neat way of making those calories count at breakfast. With two kids about to head into teenagery – one recently just got there – (and little DNA assistance for them to gain some altitude), I try to pack as much protein into their meals as I can! (more…)

June 9, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Breakfast, Brunch, Health, Nutrition. Leave a comment.

Pepping Up the After-School Snack

Snack: crackers, hummus, baby carrots, tomatoes, mango

Snack: crackers, hummus, baby carrots, tomatoes, mango

With lunchbox packing having become a chore and a bore (the boys, now 11 and 12, want something simple they can despatch quickly before returning to their busy social lives), my attention has turned to the hitherto overlooked after-school snack.

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March 21, 2013. Tags: , , , . Health, Kids, Leftovers, Lunch, Lunchbox. 2 comments.

Oatmeal and Pumpkin Waffles (with Almond Whip and Fresh Pear)

Waffles-oatmeal-pumpkin-pear 3The best way to get your kids up for breakfast on a Sunday is to have a routine of pancakes or waffles going!  If they haven’t already jumped into your bed demanding one of the above (and this applies only to tweenage and older kids)(because the younger ones would have been up and jumping on your head from the crack of dawn), the delicious aromas wafting up into their bedrooms will rouse them pronto.

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January 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . American, Breakfast, Brunch, Health, Nutrition. 2 comments.

Oaty Banana Waffles

Wholegrain banana waffles with whipped cream and blueberries

The luck of the draw in a rota of regular Sunday breakfast picks fell to waffles this past weekend (with the other two regular items being pancakes or the more exotic upma). These waffles were tweaked from my favorite and ludicrously easy recipe, full of heart healthy scrumminess, and which the kids adore so much that a certain parent may be awoken from her single lie-in of the week in order to produce the wretched delicious thing. I like to think of the wholegrain flour and oatmeal (not an ounce of bleached flour in these babies) as washing away the clogging effects of naughty add ons such as whipped cream. Maple syrup, hailing organically from a tree trunk, being not naughty in the least 😉

  • Oats (aka oatmeal), 1 cup
  • Whole meal or whole grain flour, 1 cup
  • Eggs, 3, separated
  • Bananas, 2 large and very ripe (1 cup), mashed at last minute
  • Buttermilk or milk, 1 cup
  • Vanilla essence, 1 tsp
  • Salt, pinch of
  • Optional – chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup, for banana-nut waffles
  • Optional – half tbsp of agave nectar
  • [Baking powder, 1/2 tsp  – optional. Only needed if one is rubbish at egg-white whisking]
  1. Whisk the egg yolks
  2. Add milk, whisk till combined
  3. Add vanilla and pinch of salt
  4. Add oats, give it a whirl with handheld blender or whisk
  5. Add flour. Needs a bit more elbow grease at this point
  6. [If adding baking soda, sieve it into the flour several times first]
  7. Mash the bananas with a fork, fold into batter and mix
  8. In separate bowl, whisk egg whites till stiff
  9. Fold into batter in one-third portions
  10. Give preheated waffle iron a spritz with Pam spray
  11. Ladle about 3/4 cup of batter into the middle (or whatever amount fills, when cooked, all the wee squares on the griddle)
  12. When done, serve warm with fresh berries, fresh whipped cream and maple syrup 🙂

July 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Breakfast, Health, Kids Cuisine, Nutrition. 1 comment.

Why WW’s New Plan May Kick Atkins’ Derriere

Weight Watchers’ new PointsPlus plan is one I reckon that will wipe the floor with the oversized clothing of its competitors.

The dieting regime, which was embraced with fervor by Americans and the world in 1997, awards points to different sorts of food, with each dieter having to stick to a certain number each day in order to lose, or maintain, weight.

Three days ago, I signed up for WW’s new plan online, after a four-month stint on steroids for an inexplicable allergy sapped me of energy and left me looking like the GoodYear blimp. (more…)

December 8, 2010. Tags: , , . American, Asian, Health, Nutrition, Stories. 7 comments.

Do Girls Make Passes at Boys with Glasses?

(Published on Barista Kids on May 19th)

My older son came home from school a few weeks ago and said he had passed an eye test, given by the school nurse, with flying colors. So it naturally came as a shock to us, and him, to be told by his doctor at a regular medical checkup shortly afterwards, that he might be myopic.

Mywhat?!

My firstborn, just 10, has lost his perfect vision! Was my immediate reaction. But then I considered how common it is for people to wear glasses, the mind-boggling array of screens, books (avid readers may be more susceptible to near-sightedness), and books on screens, and the fact that my husband and I both had to wear specs as teenagers.

Well, the poor kid didn’t stand a chance. (more…)

May 20, 2010. Tags: , , , . Health, Kids, Musings, Stories. 6 comments.

Environmental Cancer Risks and Minimizing Exposure

It’s one thing to take charge of your life by trying to make sure you, and your family, are eating the best possible produce that’s least contaminated by chemicals and other health-threatening compounds. It’s another when these harmful compounds are in the air we breathe and in the water we drink.

Almost everyone I know is extremely selective of what they eat. Loads of friends are vegetarian, or grow their own vegetables and herbs, or pay attention to where their fish and meat come from and what sorts of additives, coloring, antibiotics or growth hormones have gone into them.

In this light, although aware of carcinogens in the environment, it was still alarming to read the details of what President Obama’s Cancer Panel had to say in a report submitted to him recently. Here are some highlights: (more…)

May 19, 2010. American, Health, Health Study, Stories. 2 comments.

Of Kids, Mystery Ailments and Jam Jars

You may have noticed I’ve stopped making excuses for long silences. Something will, and must, fall between the cracks when one juggles home, work and blogging. But I’m sorry to have kept the three of you hanging all these weeks 😉

On Monday, my younger boy woke up in tears because he couldn’t walk. Bewildered, I urged him to stay in bed while I got my older son ready and out the door to catch his school bus. Eventually, he got out of bed, and, I gave him an umbrella to use as a walking stick while I set up an appointment with his doctor. He couldn’t climb stairs, he could barely hoist himself onto a chair, and I later had to lift him into the car. In between banging out seven stories, I took him to four different medical establishments – his pediatrician, a lab for bloodwork, radiology, and finally, a pediatric orthopedist (or is it orthopedic pediatrician?) way out in Cedar Knolls, Morris County.

Let me tell you about that journey. (more…)

May 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Health, Kitchen Snippets, Kitchen Stuff, Musings, Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Stories. 17 comments.

Non-Stick Pans Linked to Thyroid Disease: Whom Can I Sue and Will the Charges Stick?

The last of my formerly complete set of Circulon pans, a wedding present 11 years ago, was solemnly  sent off to the Cooking Pan Graveyard recently. As I researched the best replacement for the much-used, much loved matrimonial gift, I found that Amazon offered a fabulous deal on a new range of Circulon pans, which came with a free casserole dish worth $100. It would have been foolish to have let it slip. The purchase took place without a hitch – shopping online, time and money saved, prompt doorstep delivery, feet and nails intact.

The new pans, heatable to 400F (as high as I generally need the oven to go), are practically self-clean. Before I’ve picked up the sponge and doused it with washing-up liquid, the caked-up food has fallen off and the pan is, well, like new again. I hypnotically go through the motions still, of washing, as a matter of habit, as the pans themselves are bright and brimming with confidence.

So, I should be really, really happy.

But no, a dark cloud, reeking of burnt plastic, looms on the horizon. (more…)

January 27, 2010. Tags: . Health, Kitchen Gagdets, Kitchen Snippets, Kitchen Stuff, Musings, Stories. 14 comments.