As much as I hate to admit it, September is officially upon us. In our house, this means that my older children are officially back to school (pre-school for Madeleine and Senior Kindergarten for Alex) and I am back to work after enjoying the summer off with our newest addition, Henry. We definitely enjoyed a little less structure and routine during the summer….later bedtimes, meals out, ice cream as a snack!
Now that September is here, I am looking forward to a bit more routine and have resolved to do a better job of meal planning so that we can have healthy and quick breakfasts (and get out the door on time) and sit down together for a family dinner a few times during the week. To achieve this, I am scanning Pinterest and food blogs for healthy and quick meal ideas and stocking up on some of my favourite healthy pantry staples from Well.ca.
Here’s what’s in my latest order:
The standard cook time on this is 30 mins, but my shortcut is to bring 1 cup of oats and 3 cups of water to a boil the night before and then leave covered overnight on the stove. All you have to do in is reheat in the AM, add you favourite garnishes (cinnamon, raisins, maple syrup, coconut, almonds, etc.), and you’re good to go!
Another favourite breakfast in our house is what the kids call “soaked oats.” This recipe from Oh She Glows involves mashing a banana and then adding oats, chia and almond milk and soaking overnight. In the morning we add fresh fruit, nuts and coconut and eat it hot or cold, depending on the day.
I like to cook up a batch of quinoa, rice or other grain on a Sunday. This ends up playing a key role in lunchtime salads for the grown ups and a quick dinner for the kids. One of their favourite meals is to top a bowl of quinoa or rice with their favourite toppings (aka leftovers and whatever I have in the house). Some of their toppings of choice include leftover roast chicken, avocado, cucumbers, leftover steamed veggies, cherry tomatoes, all drizzled with a little olive oil.
We eat a lot of salad. I often pack a salad for lunch and then make another for dinner. In my mind, there are a few key elements to a great salad (read more about that that here) including crunch. I am stocking up on pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews and other nuts from Central Roast to add some nice texture and protein to my salads
Sometimes you don’t have time to prepare and eat a proper meal. I like to have a case of KIND bars in the house so my husband can put a few in his suitcase if he’s travelling, or I can throw one in my purse for days with back-to-back meetings. This dark chocolate, nuts, and sea salt flavour is my absolute favourite – the chocolate makes it seem like a treat, but a bar only has five grams of sugar and is packed with protein and fibre.
I try to have homemade granola bars or healthy muffins on hand for snacks. Paired with a serving of veggies, these nut-free treats are perfect for those days (or weeks) when I haven’t had a chance to make something myself. The kids love the taste, and I love that they’re school-safe.
What are your healthy pantry essentials for fall?
Erin Young is a mom to three young kids, and she’s also Well.ca’s superstar CMO! She loves running, travelling, and cooking.