20 Thermos school lunch ideas

20 Thermos Hot Lunch Ideas

Since Chicago Public schools changed their food provider to Aramark about 4 years ago, I've been packing school lunch for my kids at home every single school day. Their school food is not only unhealthy but also terrible. My son who would eat fast food 3 meals a day every day if provided, refuses to eat any school lunch including his favorite, … [Read more...]

How to cook and freeze dried beans in bulk

How to Cook Freeze Dried Beans

I cook with beans and legumes a lot. I use them in hot dishes as well as appetizers and salads. I prefer to avoid buying canned beans. Cooking with dried beans is healthier, however, it takes longer. You have to plan ahead, soak overnight and cooking takes a long time. Instead, I cook the beans I commonly use in bulk and then freeze them in small … [Read more...]

How to make bone broth

how to make bone broth

I prepare broth and stocks for its taste as well as health benefits. Especially during winter time, chicken broth is hands down my favorite common cold remedy. Bone broth is different than chicken broth both in preparation as well as benefits. First, for chicken broth you buy a common food staple, cook the chicken and use the broth. 2 birds with … [Read more...]

Gluten free breakfast ideas


When I mention that I follow a gluten-free diet, most of the people cannot figure out what I eat for breakfast. We are conditioned to think a breakfast is not a proper breakfast without wheat such as cereal, bagels, toasts, pancakes, waffles, pastries, oatmeal etc. If you open up yourself to possibilities, with these gluten free breakfast ideas, … [Read more...]

How to roast chestnuts


I and my whole family love oven roasted chestnuts during cold night in winter (in Chiberia). It's better to buy them early on in the winter, even though it's more expensive. Later on, the yield of good quality chestnuts per purchase drop immensely and you start to get one good chestnut among a whole handful of molded ones. There is a trick to make … [Read more...]

Gluten-free Paleo Pancakes


When people hear that I don't eat gluten containing foods, they usually ask me what I eat, mainly, at breakfast. Conventional breakfast consists of a variety of baked goods with wheat flour. Bread, pancakes, waffles, donuts, muffins, you name it. I think in conventional diets, breakfast is the most carb loaded meal of the day. Unless you are eating … [Read more...]

Adjusting pan size for small batch baking


Sometimes I bake cake for the kids for snack time at school. It's only 4 at home and I don't eat cake. Therefore, when I bake a full pan size cake with a batch of cake recipe, kids got tired of eating the same cake day after day. And the cake goes stale after few days. In order to avoid this, I bake cakes using half the recipe that would only go … [Read more...]

How to evenly oil sliced vegetables and leafy greens

How to evenly oil vegetables

I love to bake my own vegetables and leafy greens to make veggie chips such as baked kale chips. For a long time I had hard time evenly oiling and seasoning them. Some parts would be dry and stale, some parts would be too salty. Below is a simple way to evenly oil and season all the pieces with the just the right amount of seasoning. You can season … [Read more...]

10 steps to prepare and cook weekly meals in advance


For the last 6 weeks before I quit my previous job, I had to travel for business. Half of these trips were from Monday through Friday where my husband had to care of the household by himself. In two of these trips, schools were closed due to Polar Vortex. I wanted to at least take cooking/meal preparation out of his hectic schedule. I spent my … [Read more...]

Packing hot school lunches and keeping them warm

Packing Hot School Lunch in Thermos

I try to pack school lunches for kids as much as I can. However, recently I've given up, having to throw away so many untouched foods, half eaten or even barely eaten sandwiches. I let the kids eat school’s cafeteria lunch instead of spending all that time to think, prepare and see all that wasted food. The school cafeteria lunch menu this … [Read more...]

Organizing herb, spice and seed bottles


We use herbs, spices and seeds a lot, and we use a lot of them. I also dry my own herbs from the garden during the summer to use all year round. So we had so many different types and sizes of bottles and ziploc bags filled with dry mint, oregano and parsley. Then within all that disorganized crowd we cannot find what we are looking for and go to … [Read more...]

How to make yogurt: Homemade yogurt recipe


I've written, how to make homemade yogurt for babies in little jars in this post. Making yogurt at home is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Especially, the speculation around what additives they use to extend the life of the yogurt as well as to thicken it, makes the effort worthwhile. When I was a kid, my granny use to make the yogurt at … [Read more...]

How to prevent milk from boiling over


I - try to - make my own homemade yogurt as much as possible. I have to  boil the milk first, in order to do that. However, since I neither have the patience nor the attention span to keep an eye on the stove, the milk has a high risk to boil over. Spilled milk on a stove is pain to clean up so I use this trick to prevent it from boiling over. I … [Read more...]

Our New Year’s Eve Menu


We celebrated the New Year's Eve at home with friends and family this year. We kept the menu low key and as healthy as possible. The items were all gluten-free. Roasted Chicken with Chestnuts and rice Zucchini boats with sauteed vegetables Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers Shrimp with Mushrooms in stoneware Cauliflower Salad prepared by our … [Read more...]

Birthday Menu


My daughter chose "flowers" as the theme of her 5th birthday party. We celebrated at home with her friends. My mom and I prepared the dishes. This was her "fruit cake". I used watermelon, honey dew melon, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple (hearts & flowers) and tangerines with the help of few toothpicks. Kids loved it. This is the whole … [Read more...]

Roasted Root Vegetable Medley


This recipe is a modified version of one of the dishes in Ultimate Reset. I have been receiving a big bag of Root Vegetable Soup mix from Fresh Picks for the last two shipments, I decided to cook this instead of cooking soup over and over. Ingredients: 1 big carrot 1 medium sweet potato 1 big red beet 1 medium yellow onion 1 yellow … [Read more...]