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Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

Bio:

Illustration for learning and growing.

Recipes By Lena Umezawa

Stupendously Quick & Easy Veggie Dip (and Sugar Calendar) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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This is my old faithful dip recipe to get kids to increase their raw veggie intake during sugary holiday times (which seems like most of the year). Best served to hungry kids (e.g. after school) or at a class party. Yes, I am the weird parent who sends broccoli (because there are always more than enough mini cupcakes!). I've had middle schoolers ask for this dip recipe, and my Tupperware veggie platter is always returned empty!

Ch is for cherries, cheesecake, chocolate... by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Although my favourite snacks are savoury, cheesecake is rather nice!

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Tags: Fresh & HipFeast

Ch is for chips, cheeseburger, chicken... by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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More sketchbook shenanigans. I spoke too soon (see: "p is for...") because my REAL favourite foods actually start with "ch"!

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P is for pickle, pizza, peanut butter... by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Some non-intimidating sketchbook subject matter to start off the new year. My boys eat pickles and peanut butter right out of the jar. Many of our favourite foods apparently start with the letter "p"!

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A Little Less Spicy by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Most young kids prefer mildly spiced or bland (gasp!) foods. But with a bit of encouragement, and a variety of interesting condiments on offer, their tastebuds can be gradually encouraged towards more adventure. Results are not guaranteed.

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Tags: Sweet & Cutespices

Healthy-ish Tips by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Apparently, "healthy-ish" is a thing (...says Bon Appetit magazine.) Lots of vegetables and other foods in moderation. Enjoy meals with friends and family!

Magic (Borax) Snowflakes by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A kitchen science recipe for kids to try during the winter holidays. Results are 99.9% guaranteed! Not edible but LEGIT FUN!!

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Tags: Sweet & Cute

Vegetarian Poutine by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Homemade, vegetarian-friendly comfort food! Since my husband is vegetarian, he is sad to miss out on gravy! Serve with a green salad for extra benefits. Try roasting yams instead of regular potatoes for a twist. Poutine is a French-Canadian dish originating in the province of Quebec (french fries and cheese curds topped with gravy), similar to chips, cheese & gravy in the UK.

Granny's Kitchen Rules by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Grannies rule!...a mashup of kitchen wisdom and life advice, including some tips from my favourite farmhouse kitchen. In case you missed the theme, it's "no whining".

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Tags: Sweet & CuteFeast

Maple Dijon Brussels Sprouts by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A yummy way to tempt kids, or anyone, to eat brussels sprouts. If you like a little less sweetness, reduce the amount of maple syrup to 2 Tbsp. You can also make these in a slow cooker (substitute a good chunk of butter for the olive oil, and add a little splash of water. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Doubling the recipe is ok.). A nice side dish for Thanksgiving dinners!

Mung Bean Curry by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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This is a modified, pantry-friendly version of the recipe from the book "Vij's at Home: Relax, Honey" by famed Vancouver chef Vikram Vij, co-written with his wife, Meeru Dhalwala. A very flavourful vegetarian recipe that makes great leftovers for lunch the next day (packed in a thermos for kids).

Baking Muffins 101 (Part II: Basic Method) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Some hand-lettered and doodled muffin-baking tips, part deux.

Baking Muffins 101 (Part I: Key Definitions) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Some hand-lettered and doodled muffin-baking tips.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Slice by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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The ultimate easy, no-bake treat for those with a sweet tooth. Make these at your own risk (like, maybe once a year, and bring to a party to share with friends).

September is Apple Time!!! by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A time-tested theme for learning about fall/autumn. Kindergarteners, parents and apple pie lovers are welcome to visit @schoolhousedoodles on IG to see the tiny two-part stopmotion animation version.

Table Manners by age... (a little primer, sort of) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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There is no sister site yet called TheyDrawandFeedandTeachManners. In my 10+ years of parenting experience, it never ends (lately, for us, it's no screens at the table...including the adults!!...hahaha).

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Tags: Sweet & CuteFeast

How to Deal with "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbour's Porch Day" by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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What to do when you have TOO MUCH ZUCCHINI: Zoodles, Chocolately Flourless Zucchini Muffins, Zucchini Fritters... We have tried all of the above, and more. I don't even grow them because we receive the gift of giant zucchini(s) annually from my BFF's parents who have a bountiful farm garden.

Lasagna Garden by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Build layers of organic materials for a no-dig, no-till garden (like building a lasagna). Alternate layers of "brown" materials and "green" materials in a 2:1 ratio, until the pile is 60 cm (2 ft) deep/high. "Cook down" over several months, ideally fall to spring. You will have beautiful crumbly soil, ready for planting. Day 84 of #100DaysofGardenDoodles @schoolhousedoodles.

Kyuri Beer Zuke (Japanese Cucumber Beer Pickles) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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This is my mom's recipe for Japanese beer/miso refrigerator pickles.

April Showers Bring Rhubarb (Stewed Rhubarb in Juice) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Springtime is rhubarb time, and in Canada, it grows at the back of your garden! A pioneer nickname for rhubarb is "pie plant", as mentioned in the book 'The First Four Years' by Laura Ingalls Wilder. *Tip: Use a stainless steel or enamel pan (not copper or aluminum), otherwise the acid in rhubarb will react with metal.

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Too Many Radish Recipes + Sprouts by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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DIY sprouting is fun. Kids can do it too. Or you can buy some (radish sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, etc.) at the store for a healthier sandwich!

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Mange tout! by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Note to self: more salad.

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Chocolate Dipped Espresso Shortbread by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Um...the brokenhearted teenage girl-esque handwriting is intentional, being unencumbered by formal graphic design training ;). Inspired by the original recipe "Chocolate Dipped Cappuccino Shortbread" by Jane Bailey, as featured in "Five Star Food" by Eve Johnson & the Vancouver Sun Test Kitchen, 1993. A very popular holiday cookie recipe.

French Toast: Sweet & Savoury by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Thank you to seriouseats.com for the ratio of eggs to milk. I'm on Team Sweet for this one ... my husband introduced me to the savoury version. Our kids eat both. Serve bacon on the side with the maple syrup version for savoury and sweet together.

Nooch Popcorn by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Nutritional yeast has a cheesy/nutty flavour which makes it a popular cheese substitute for vegans. Although I'm not vegan (see: butter), this popcorn topping is helping me to recover from a student-days D*ritos addiction. (Tip: A 3 quart saucepan works well for a smaller batch, a 5 quart or bigger pot/dutch oven for a double batch).

Everyday Dahl Soup by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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My kids know the aroma of this soup simmering...it's a favourite easy meal. Almost no prepwork (just chop a couple of garlic cloves, grate a bit of ginger & measure a few spices). You can garnish with chopped cilantro (or not, if you have cilantro-haters around).

Seriously Tasty Chicken Nuggets by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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We cook a lot of dried beans and occasionally splurge on organic chicken (boneless skinless chicken breasts, for this recipe, even though the skin is the best part). Kids love this with the Honey Mustard Dip, too - yummy!

An apple a day... by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A daily snack suggestion for school: eating the whole fruit is healthier... than a sugary "fruit snack" (minus seeds, of course, but kids like to be technical).

Miso Gravy Buddha Bowl by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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The Naam (a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver, Canada) serves their famous version of Miso Gravy with their "Buddha's Feast" and "Gold Dragon Bowl". Gravy recipe adapted from raincitygardener.wordpress.com. This is a perfect dish for enjoying a bountiful harvest of vegetables with gratitude.

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Tags: Main DishVegetarian

Random Kitchen Tips (part 1) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Not exactly a recipe, but a few kitchen tips I've picked up along the way...

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Tags: Fresh & HipNon-Edible

Peach Blueberry Cobbler by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A favourite late summer dessert. (TIP: Instead of "cutting" the butter with a pastry cutter, I usually grate frozen butter (with a box grater...measure before grating). Serve warm WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM and people will <3 <3 <3 you forever!!

Top Secret Slime by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Good scientific results are repeatable: try making multiple batches in all your favourite colours! It's fun for messy parties, too.
This recipe is adapted from instructions at stevespanglerscience.com and chemistry.about.com.

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Tags: Fun & FunkyNon-Edible

We all SCREAM for ICE CREAM!!! by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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This is a regular chant around our place lately. Sometimes I say "no" (not now). Cruel, but true.

Teenage Arugula Problemo or Pesto?!! by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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More Go-Rilla Gardening: It's hot, and the arugula is bolting. Blanching the leaves lessens the bitterness (for kale too). I didn't know you could eat the flowers too, until after they were in the compost bin.

Kimchi Fried Rice Stuffed Peppers by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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I was inspired by the yummy kimchi from our local H-Mart (a comprehensive Korean grocery store in the neighbourhood).

Very Fluffy Pancakes with Strawberries!!! by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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This is a fool-proof pancake recipe. You don't need to worry about overmixing the batter because of the baking powder (but use only 3 Tbsp if you are doubling the recipe). If you are making the strawberry-herb topping (compote) it is best to mix it at least one hour before serving. This is like a strawberry shortcake, but quicker.

Apple Carrot Japanese-style Dressing by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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...so I will eat more salad.

Seedbombs for Go...Rilla! Gardeners by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A just-for-fun recipe. At your own risk.

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Tags: Fun & FunkyNon-Edible

All-Purpose Homemade Spray Cleaner (for Earth Month) by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Given the choice, I would rather draw & cook than clean the bathroom. Here is a recipe for a homemade cleaner with less toxic ingredients, for your family and the Earth. Happy Earth Month!

Anchovy & Friends Magic Butter by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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If you don't have a food processor (or mortar and pestle), try finely mincing the garlic and rosemary with a bit of coarse salt and mixing in softened butter with a fork. Add some olive oil if you like and heat gently - it's like bagna cauda. Drizzle on baby arugula with a smushed hard boiled egg and some crusty bread ... and prepare to feel the magic. Give anchovies a chance!

Bunny Chow & Japanese Curry Fusion by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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Japanese homestyle curry is one of my family's favourite comfort foods and it's even better when made with real ingredients. It's adaptable for vegetarians too, like my other half. He is the one who suggested the South African-inspired Bunny Chow version as a camping meal. (Eaten with your fingers, no utensils or plates to wash!)

Save Your Dough for a Rainy Day by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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A treasure stash of dough (make ahead) + saved leftovers from the fridge = fabulous, frugal cooking!

We Love Our Planet Earth and Coffee by Lena Umezawa

Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

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From the coffee-obsessed Pacific Northwest, a suggestion to enjoy your coffee while helping the planet. Have your cake (with coffee) and eat it, too!