Lena UmezawaVancouver, British Columbia, CA
Illustration for learning and growing.
Recipes By Lena Umezawa
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!
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"!
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.
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.
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!
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!)