Tag Archives: In the Kitchen

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chicken Nuggets and Chocolate Soup!

Today I am excited to share with you a post from a new contributor at A Mother’s Heritage!  Meet Dawn from Simple Blessings!
Among many school lessons, discipleship talks, and “character training” the table in my home also is a place where I desire to feed my family healthy foods. It’s a new canvas for all the new GF (Gluten free) and DF(Diary free) meals we have been trying.
This table is a place where I asked the Lord for wisdom.
“Lord with every bite I make how can I glorify you?”
The motivation for me is to honor the Lord in everything we do, including how we feed our bodies.

I remember when I first confessed to Him that I had not been wise with the meal choices I have provided my family with. I wanted to feel good about quickly getting the kitchen cleaned up and not having to do much prep work. I had been following convenience and being selfish about my time. I was only thinking about myself.

Recently we have discovered some food allergies that have been bothering most of our family and I felt a deep sorrow in my heart, for I saw that I was attempting to rob my family of the blessing of a healthy body, strong and able to do all God calls them to.
So I begun my journey to Wise Meals. I dedicated this table and everything to Him. It was the Lord’s Table now! I am trying to prepare meals that can pull me out of that pit of laziness on long days, meals that fill us with strength as I eliminate the foods our bodies are reacting to. Meals that are kid-friendly, and Meat-and-potatoes-kind-of-guy approved.
Today I would like to share with you one of our first joys in GF eating….Homemade Chicken Nuggets. And for dessert… our children’s favorite…chocolate soup!

First, take a whole bag of corn tortilla chips and pulse them in a food processor (or you can crush them in freezers bags with a rolling pin!) One way I get my kids excited about the “new” recipes is getting them involved! My youngest LOVED using the food processor. Maybe its the noise, or how the food swirls soo fast, maybe its both becuase he is a boy-either way he was eager, excited, and we made a memory together!!!

Then add your seaonings of choice into the food processor. We tried a zesty lemon seasoning and added shredded coconut.

Add a little salt and pepper…

Then pulse the food processor just enough untill the spices are well blended.

Mix up a few eggs in a bowl (depending on how many nuggets you are making)
pour some GF flour in a separte bowl and your ready for the chicken…
Heat some oil in a skillet and prepare your boneless chicken breats by cutting them into chunks.
Once the oil is hot dip the chicken chunks in the flour bowl, then the egg, then roll into the breading and fry for 4 minutes on each side.

I always do a test one…to check the seasoning…and everyones wait in line for a bite!
I only put 5-6 in at once to keep the oil tempature level.

As I pull them out of the oil I let them drip on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels, or old newspaper. Then I freeze them in freezer bags. When needed I put them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
Our family gave these a HUGE thumbs up!
Next is dessert…
Diary Free Chocolate Soup!!!
Take chocolate pudding and follow the directions on the back.

We replaced the milk with coconut milk, and blended it up for four minutes.

For us this is a new journey. Sometimes our baby steps are tiny and smooth other times we try and walk a little faster and stumble. A few hours later with great excitement we indulged in dessert. A not-so-set-up diary free chocolate pudding. (we stumbled) So we named it chocolate soup…topped with mini dried marshmellows, or sprinkles, eaten with a spoon or straw our day ended with joy on the recipe front! This is the begining of a long journey. Some days I feel like I am walking all over again. Even though my steps are still baby steps I know they are getting stronger and bigger with every successful recipe. My heart is in it! I can see the glory of the Lord ahead! Providing my family with good GF and DF meals as we eat around the Lord’s table is a new joy.
(…p.s potato chips can also be used as a GF breading!)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God!”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Many Blessings to you as you prepare to feed the hearts and souls of your family! May you feel God strength and joy when you rely on him for direction!
Dawn is a  wife to a strong man of God for almost 12 years and they homeschool their three children. She finds joy in teaching her children all of God’s ways, organizing, and rearranging. She loves rescuing cast-of pieces of history and repurposing them as a way to add beauty in her room. She is working on starting her own home business, and loves to inspire other woman and mothers to find the beauty in the simple things all around them. Whether it is the giggle from her youngest who gets to lick the homemade jam off the spoon, or a midnight hug. She is beginning her journey to whole foods, going GF, and Diary free. She is inspired to become content with the simple life the Lord has blessed her with, and realizes this can only be done through Gods grace. Ultimately she is vessel, hand carved by the Lord for His will.
You can follow what God is doing in her heart and home at her blog Simple Blessings and you can also find her on FB.

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for our Children Pt 2.

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A Modicum of Sodium

Sodium (salt) is another risk factor for growing children.  The taste for salt is acquired.  The more salt children get, the more they crave it.  What foods supply salt in their diet?

15% – natural sources as meat, fish, dairy, vegetables and drinking water

35% – the salt shaker when used as a condiment or cooking spice

50% – is found in processed foods and fast foods

How can you monitor salt intake?

1)     Take the salt shaker off the table.

2)      Spice up food with herbs and seasonings like black pepper, garlic, tarragon and lemon juice.

3)      Eat more fresh foods and less processed ones.

4)      Slow down on the fast food.

(Jenny’s note: I do think that our culture has way too much sodium with all of our processed foods. Just check out the sodium factor in a small bag of french fries at your local fast food place. But I also know that pure salt such as Celtic Sea Salt is very beneficial for our bodies.  So I would say, watch the sodium levels from your prepared items, but have the nourishing salt on hand for your home prepared meals!)


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Sugar –The Sweet Potion

Young children like sugar more than adults do. Fruits, berries and other foods which naturally contain sugar used to meet that craving for sweetness.  They also contain necessary nutrients and fiber so they provide the best choice for a sugar source.  Now other foods compete with fruits and berries.  Just how much sugar are kids getting in their diet today compared to years ago?

Sugar Consumption:

1887                            5 lbs of refined sugar per person per year

Now                             148 lbs of refined sugar per person per year

That’s more than 1/2 a pound and 800 calories each day.  The average child consumes more than 12 ounces of sugar a day which translates into 275 pounds of sugar a year.  Most of the daily calories (remember those are empty calories) for children come from sugar.

Where does all that sugar come from?  Two-thirds of the sugar consumed comes in processed foods and high fructose corn syrup is the most common form of sugar.  You’ll most likely find sugar in:

Coca-Cola (12 oz)                                            9 tsp sugar

Jelly beans (14)                                                9 tsp sugar

Commercial fruit pie (1)                                    6 tsp sugar

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (3/4 cup)                  3 tsp sugar


So what’s so bad with all that sugar?  Well, sugar can help promote childhood obesity.  One teaspoon of sugar equals 16 calories.  If enough teaspoons of sugar are consumed, those calories pile up.

How to Kick the Sugar Habit

1)  Put the sugar bowl away – don’t have it out for breakfast cereals.

2)  Eat more fresh fruit to satisfy that “sweet tooth”.

3)  Reduce how many soft drinks are drunk or eliminate them altogether.  Use lemon and lime slices to spice up a glass of water.  Diluting fruit juices with carbonated mineral water or club soda gives kids the “fizz” they like so much.

4)  Read food labels for sugar. Beware with a name ending with “-ose” and “high fructose corn syrup”. They’re all sugars. Even agave syrup is dangerous having a very high glycemic index. Avoid it when possible.  And watch honey consumption with children.

Make the Change for Health

First, design a meal plan so you can cook and eat most of your meals at home.  A plan helps  to determine food categories your family enjoys – pasta, seafood, meat.

Then put your plan on paper:

Day                                                      Type of Food

Monday                                               Poultry

Tuesday                                               Pasta, soups, stews

Wednesday                                         Seafood

Thursday                                             Main-meal salads

Friday                                                  Pizza, casseroles, chili

Saturday                                              Restaurants, take-out

Sunday                                                 Meat

With a plan in mind, you can shop and prepare the meals ahead of time.  That way, meals aren’t just happening to you because now you’re in control. Use a crockpot in the morning and get dinner started early. Try to eat your meals together as a family so you can remain connected.

Use low-fat or no-fat recipes and disguise leaner foods as familiar meals – put shredded zucchini in spaghetti sauce; shred carrots and use in lasagna; soups are great for inserting all kinds of nutrient-dense foods.  Also you might have to change your cooking methods.  Instead of frying French fries, bake them in the oven.

Don’t force kids to always clean their plates.

Children should develop an appetite and experience what it’s like to feel stuffed. Try to serve smaller portions. They can always ask for more.  You as parents can control the quality and type of food your children eat, but they should have control over how much they eat.

Let the Kids in the Kitchen

They love helping.  Working with you they can help organize meals and fix them.  Instead of having a plate of food dropped down in front of them day after day, their participation enables them to grow up into individuals who have learned skills for healthy eating and living.


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Healthy Eating and Living

It’s up to us as parents to teach our children how to life a healthy and fit lifestyle.  So get out there and enjoy your kids. Run with them; cook with them; make memories teaching them skills for healthy eating and living.   The current Fat Culture can be replaced with the Fit Culture as our children lead the way.


Crystal Blanchard lives in east Texas with her husband, Greg, and three young adult children. She’s been a mom to many (ten to be exact) and has home educated most of them since 1980. She has turned her wellness consultation practice into a research and writing project to help answer questions about health. We are wonderfully knit together by a loving, compassionate Creator. He is the source for our well-being and we are foolish to trust in anyone other than the Lord first when seeking counsel and wisdom in matters of health. Crystal navigates the labyrinth of health issues to help others (especially her own family) along the way of life. She gives us articles to encourage us in our high calling regarding health and nutrition.

Stay Tuned tomorrow for another special guest sharing her heart of our series Titus 2 for Single Woman!

In the Kitchen as a Family

Source: scrapbookflair.com via Daniella




Cooking together is one of my favorite family activities. It is a time to work together and laugh together. Since my children are spread out in ages we assign one adult or older child to help one of the younger children. The children enjoy participating while learning cooperation and how to follow directions in a relaxed environment. The kitchen seems so much warmer as we all prepare a meal together.

Start a new tradition in your home and cook together at least one night a week. Children are more likely to eat what they cook.  Cooking together will provide a family a time to come together and learn important lessons about cooperation, love, helpfulness, nutrition, following recipes, counting, measuring and possibly creating your own recipes. It is an activity every member can participate in given age appropriate tasks. Here is a list of tasks divided by age as a guide to use on your family cook night.

2-4 years: crack eggs, practice measuring ingredients, stir, add in ingredients, wash vegetables, tear lettuce, form meatballs, place rolls on baking tray, place napkins on table, and help with clean up

5-8 Years: fix the salad, make sandwiches, measure ingredients, find and give ingredients to mom or older sibling, set the table and help wash the dishes

9-12 years: help planning the menu, meal preparation, make the appetizer, make tea or powered drinks, pour drinks, cut soft fruits and vegetables, clear the table and wash dishes

Teenagers: bake dessert or a portion of the meal, instruct younger siblings on cooking chores, prepare a shopping list for family cooking night, and clean the countertops and mop the floor.

Mom and Dad’s Role: Mom and dad need to oversee the event by offering guidance and maintaining order. This is the time to teach your children the importance of nutrition and making healthy choices. Parents should do any kitchen chore that poses danger such as working on stovetops or using sharp utensils. Keep the atmosphere light by allowing your children the ability to express themselves and steering the conversation to fun and engaging topics.

Here are ways to make cooking together even more fun for your family.

Healthy Bake off: Dessert can be as much fun to eat as it is to make. Pair up an older child or an adult with a younger child. Grab your favorite dessert recipes, add a twist, and start baking.  Substitute sugars and high fats for healthy alternatives and together you can reshape your favorite desserts and your bodies.

Backwards Dinner: Make a complete dinner then eat it in backwards order. For example, eat dessert, main course, soup, appetizer, and finally the salad.

Ingredient Challenge: Divide up into teams and pick an ingredient for a special challenge. For instance, if you pick apples then each team must come up with an original apple recipe. You may want to assign which course each team will work on or simply allow creativity to be the guide. Either way you are sure to have a night filled with laughter and imaginative food.

Pizza Parlor: Instead of ordering out for pizza make it in your own home. Pizza made at home will be fresh and since you control the ingredients it can be healthy.  Pizza is one of the easiest meals to make with children of multiple ages. Little ones love to help make pizza dough, sprinkle cheese and add toppings. Everyone will love to create their own signature pizza.

Eat a Rainbow:  We have all heard the phrase “eat a rainbow” referring to eating healthy whole foods consisting of all the colors of the rainbow.  Challenge your family to use every color in the meal.  You can divide the family up in teams and assign each team a color.  The team will have to make a healthy portion of the meal using foods in that color category.

Richele is a homeschooling mom to four children and author of Under the Golden Apple Tree.  Daily she cleans up Play Doh, teaches the three “R’s”, and praises the Lord for the blessings.  Her goal is to encourage moms to grow in the Lord and feel the privilege of their role.

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