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May 28, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Oat Bars {gluten free + vegan}

You may have noticed my obsession with all things lemon these days (or always). Interestingly enough, I never knew the difference between a "regular" lemon and Meyer lemons. I've heard of Meyer lemons and that they are delicious, but I never knew why. I found that my local grocery store had bags of Meyer lemons on sale last week and I was intrigued to taste the difference for myself.

From what I have read, Meyer's are kind of a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Personally I noticed they are slightly less tart than a regular lemon but still with a bright, fresh flavor. I decided they would be perfect for my Lemon Blueberry Oat Bars and boy, was I right. (I am positive these bars would be just as delicious with regular lemons if you cannot find Meyers.)

May 19, 2016

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce {gluten free + vegan}

Every year when school is almost out for summer and baseball is in full swing (pun intended), we always seem to be rushing so much in the evenings that dinner is usually corn dogs or something that can be thrown on the grill in a hurry. It never fails that I also start to miss cooking during this time. While it can be a chore when I'm trying to come up with a plan for every night of the week, cooking is kind of therapeutic for me. I can zone out over the stove and love coming up with new meals.

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce from Making it Milk-free

May 1, 2016

Easy Lunch and Snack Hacks

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut when it comes to packing lunches and snacks? For me, especially as the school year is drawing to a close, I end up resorting to the quickest, easiest, throw-together meals which is about all the energy I can muster. I wish I could say that once summer is here I get a break from lunch-packing for another three months. But when you have a child with food allergies, there is never a break. In fact, if I am not packing a meal for some reason, I feel off. Like I’ve forgotten something, and it takes most of a day to get over that feeling!

I am always looking for ways to feel less stressed about lunch-making, and also to have healthier, more wholesome options available for after school snacks. I have tried everything I can think of from creating week’s worth of menus to rotate through, to packing dinner leftovers the night before, to prepping several servings of meals and freezing them. All of those ideas were fine, but still I found that they only worked for a short time. A month or two in and I found myself struggling once again.

One of the foremost requirements for school lunches and after school snacks in our house is that they must have a healthy component. While I want my child to enjoy the foods I make for him, I also need to feel good about what I’m feeding him. Of course, one of my biggest jobs as a mother is to teach him the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. I have this fear, due to having food allergies and a restricted diet, that Mason will not have healthy relationship with food as he grows up. As a means to prevent that from happening, providing a variety of options, letting him participate in creating his lunches, and adding in fun treats on occasion (and in moderation) are probably more important than what I pack for him.

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