Menu Planning

Saturday Shopping List // FALL (now with vegan + GF options)

Friends.  I have decided to add a new feature to this Saturday Shopping List series.  Many of the recipes I pick out are gluten free, vegan, or both but not all of them.  So, to cater to those of you who take it a step further, I am adding vegan and gluten free alterations to all recipes as a note under each recipe for every post.  This will also be reflected in the shopping list.  I hope this can make this experience a little more inclusive.

I have been angry about fall, but this week the romance of autumn has swept me up.  Although I’m not excited about the cold, the warm days with crisp mornings and amazing light pouring through a kaleidoscope of changing leaves is just plain hard not to love.  So here you have a weeks worth of dinners, all singing autumn’s praises.  I hope this makes your weeks a little more warm and comforting.

Keep me updated on how your week is going or what recipes you enjoy by tagging your photos on Instagram with #keepingwillow.  Leave me a comment below telling me what you didn’t like, how much your groceries cost or what your kids really liked.

You can download your shopping list below.  Many of the things on the list you will already have.  Just check off the the things you need.  There is space below each category to add any other things you need to buy for the week.

You can find all of the recipes for this week in one place by following my “Saturday Shopping List” board on Pinterest here.

Total cost (for all groceries I bought including other food): $95

Shopping List (download)

M E N U //

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Another delicious looking recipe by Minimalist Baker.  We love pad thai and can’t wait to try this comforting variation.  (Use tamari for soy sauce if you are gluten free.  Already vegan) RECIPE

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I love how I know all recipes from My New Roots are crazy healthy.  Full of color and fresh vegetables, this salad gives all the comfort you need for a cool fall day as well as the vitamins to deal with less sunshine. (use gluten free bread for croutons if GF.  Use coconut oil for ghee if vegan) RECIPE

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Check out this clean and fresh blog, Brooklyn Supper.  I don’t usually love wild rice but this recipe looks so divine.  (already GF. Sub coconut oil for butter and vegan creamer or cashew cream for half & half if vegan) RECIPE

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There is something magical about the combination of sweet potatoes, black beans and avocados.  And the green rice Cookie + Kate came up with looks yummy! (already vegan & gluten free!- unless you throw some feta on top) RECIPE

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A beautifully fragrant and comforting lentil dish by Naturally Ella.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, you can always buy the ground versions of the spices and just toast lightly in a pan.  Serve with your favorite grain — I put on the shopping list rice or quinoa. (already vegan & GF!) RECIPE

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This recipe by Green Kitchen Stories looks crazy beautiful.  Like, maybe you’ll want to invite friends over on Thursday night. If you can’t find romesco broccoli you can also use cauliflower or regular broccoli as a substitute. (already vegan & gluten free!) RECIPE

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You will find a lot of these pureed soups on here because they are serious the easiest and fastest meals to make.  And to top it off this one by Feasting at Home is rich & aromatic.  (substitute coconut sugar or maple syrup for brown sugar if vegan & already GF!) RECIPE

 

Happy Saturday folks!!!

xoxo

 

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Parenthood

Defeat

I had a very distinct moment last year when I decided I wanted to quit parenting.

It was maybe early winter and Willow had just turned 2.  We we were going through this phase where Willow’s sleep was far below par for her age.  We share a bedroom with Willow (because adding an extra bedroom in Toronto costs a least an extra $400 a month). As a result we end up sharing our bed about 75% of the time.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Willow was starting to develop language, which was really fun, but could become easily frustrating for Willow when she understood more than she could communicate.  This lead to the typical terrible 2’s tantrums and other difficulties.  She was also starting to learn other social skills, like hitting and, my personal favorite, biting.  All of these new things were happening and I didn’t know the best way to deal with it all.  I felt out of control and hopelessly alone.  When I became stressed or overwhelmed I lost my temper.  I yelled.  I threw an orange at the wall.  I threw it so hard it exploded.  I jumped up and down like a 2-year-old in a fit.

This day, the day I told you I wanted to quit, it was a particularly hard day.  I was particularly tired and Willow was acting particularly difficult.  Each act of defiance started to create this ball of anger inside of me that only seemed to grow.  My hands were in tight fists and my teeth were clenched.  Every time I had to discipline Willow I would run through my head the kind of discipline I really wanted to give, something we don’t practice in our home, a real big smack.  Nap time had finally arrived and I found the couch facedown and started to cry.  I wanted to quit.  Like if being a parent were a career, I would be sending in my letter of resignation.  I was done.  The sea of guilt, synonymous with being a parent, started to pour in as if I were a sinking ship freshly punctured by an iceberg.
“I’m not any good at this”.
“Why am I so angry?”
“I am destroying my child’s self esteem.”
“I am not cut out for this.”
“I am a really bad parent.”

And then I checked my email.

When Willow was born I signed up for an age-appropriate developmental screening survey that helps track your child’s development.  Every month I do some activities with Willow to see how she is doing with her developmental milestones.  After the results are analyzed, they send me a kind of report card for her development along with a lengthy newsletter pertaining to her current age and the phases she is going through.  I just happened to receive this email on this very bad day.

I read through the pamphlet and with every word grew increasingly more engaged.  Because everything they were describing about children at Willow’s age was everything we were going through.  It described how Willow was feeling, what she could comprehend, and how to help her through difficult and frustrating moments.  They talked about ways to stay calm as a parent and practice positive discipline methods (because that whole orange thing wasn’t working).  And in a matter of 20 minutes I went from completely defeated, ready to walk out the door and start day drinking, to a confident parent.  I realized that what we were going through was normal and gained a handful of tools to help deal with it.

That day I learned the key to good parenting: education. Yes, I think it’s important to listen to your intuition and draw from your gut, but there are people out there who research and educate about childhood development for a living.  They write really good books, put on workshops and run community programs.  They are experts and parents who have worked with children for years.  There are some things your gut just can’t tell you.  Google is fine for the quick, “how do I help my child stop sucking their thumb” or “how long can breast milk stay in the freezer”, sure, but for the big stuff, the stuff you are pulling your hair out about, trust that to the experts.  And never, NEVER draw anything about being a parent from social media.  EVER!!! You will just fall down a rabbit hole of guilt and shame because everyone comes across as the perfect parent on Facebook or Instagram.

Every parent has moments when they want to quit.  If you are not a parent, don’t trick yourself into thinking that you won’t be like that.  You will.  It’s ok and it’s normal.  Find someone to talk to who is a parenting expert.  Find a community resource.  Find a great book.  Education is empowerment!

I still have tough days, but now I know when that feeling of desperation starts to kick in or I find myself regretting some of my parenting moves, all it means is I need a little more knowledge.  I find a highly recommended book, drink some kombucha, and eat a square of really dark chocolate (this is the trinity or parenting survival — well at least for me) and then I feel pretty freaking amazing.

Book I am currently reading: “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk” (and it’s life changing)

xoxo

 

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Life, Menu Planning

Saturday Shopping List + Update

Yes.  Saturday Shopping Lists have been mostly the only posts going up on Keeping Willow lately.  Trust me, it was not my intention to turn this blog into a shopping service when I started this series, but as a supplement to already occuring material.  Such is life sometimes. I promise there will be more variety in the future, but for now here is a little update on life at present.

Here in Toronto, education starts early.  Willow started going to preschool about 3 weeks ago, 2 days a week, from 9-3.  She is doing remarkably well.  I promised myself I wouldn’t get all upset when she started.  I broke my promise.

I have been in a constant state of adjustment.  Although I’ve been at a new job for the past 3 months, I am still trying to find new ways to fit my old routines into a my new schedule. When can I fit in a workout, make a new batch of kombucha, write a blog post? It’s been a challenge  Maybe a future blog post?

Jazz just started a new year of grad school as well as a new job.  His increasing interest in the coffee industry has lead him to a job at the best coffee shop in Toronto.  I can’t wait to reap the benefits of this change.

Update over.  Here is your shopping list.

Let me know how your week is going or what recipes you really like by tagging your photos on Instagram with #keepingwillow.  Leave me a comment below telling me what you didn’t like, how much your groceries cost or what your kids really liked.

You can download your shopping list below.  Obviously, some of the things on the list you will already have.  Just check off the the things you need.  There is space below each category to add any other things you need to buy for the week.

You can find all of the recipes for this week in one place by following my “Saturday Shopping List” board on Pinterest here.

Total cost (for all groceries I bought including other food): $95

Shopping List (download)

M E N U //

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Who doesn’t love ramen?  Add coconut milk and green curry?  Hallelujah!  RECIPE

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Naturally Ella is increasingly becoming my favorite food blog.  Creamy polenta, roasted veg, chick peas, feta and a rustic curry flavor.  Ok! RECIPE

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I love this recipe by My Darling Lemon Thyme.  The ginger and squash combination is genius.  I added tempeh to the mix for a little extra protein (an option I put on the shopping list).  RECIPE

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A Keeping Willow original.  This creamy curry recipe is comforting and packed with flavor.  RECIPE

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A perfect warming soup for a cold fall day by 101 Cookbooks.  Added bonus, packed with everything healthy to give you the extra vitamins you need now that the hours of sunshine is diminishing.  RECIPE

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We make this recipe by Pinch of Yum all the time.  It’s one of Jazz’s favorites.  Skip Chipotle!  This bowl will give you your burrito bowl fix.  RECIPE

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I’m excited to try this creamy vegan bisque by one of my favorite blogs, The First Mess.  Ok, fall isn’t all that bad.  RECIPE

I hope your week is full of good surprises as well as pleasant predictability.  Happy Saturday!

xoxo

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Menu Planning

Saturday Shopping List

You guys it’s fall.  I might be 95% in protest of it, but there is 5% of me that is very excited.  I mean warm fall days, apple cider, pumpkin doughnuts, chai, cinnamon and nutmeg aromas pretty much everywhere… it’s kind of great.  It would be much better if it meant that winter was not close at hand.  And while normally, I am all “Winter is coming!” and “embrace the cold” this year I am not.  This year I wish I lived in Arizona.  But right now, pumpkin and squash and everything nice.

This week is Thanksgiving up here in Canada so there are lots of pumpkin and squash inspired recipes.  Maybe not traditional Thanksgiving fare, even for a vegetarian, but absolutely fall inspired.

This week’s recipes are:
Easy
Quick
Delicious
and with exception of the gnocchi, Healthy (I told you I like to throw one in there as a treat).

Let me know how your week is going or what recipes you really like by tagging your photos on Instagram with #keepingwillow.  Leave me a comment below telling me what you didn’t like, how much your groceries cost or what your kids really liked.

You can download your shopping list below.  Obviously, some of the things on the list you will already have.  Just check off the the things you need.  There is space below each category to add any other things you need to buy for the week.

You can find all of the recipes for this week in one place by following my “Saturday Shopping List” board on Pinterest here.

Total cost (for all groceries I bought including other food): $95

Shopping List (download)

M E N U //

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I am so in love with Naturally Ella right now.  These tostadas look divine.  I can’t wait to devour them.  RECIPE

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This dish would also make a stellar Sunday brunch.  A stunning display for entertaining friends by Lyndsey Eden. RECIPE

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This salad from To Her Core is divine.  I like to throw some diced tempeh in with the chick peas to add some more protein to the mix.  RECIPE

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Pinch of Yum always puts out amazing recipes, and I can’t wait to try this stir fry recipe.  Since asparagus is out of season, try substituting broccoli or eggplant. RECIPE

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I love corn chowder but this thai inspired version by Half Baked Harvest looks irresistible. Ignore the shrimp and try substituting thin slices or cauliflower. RECIPE

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Pumpkin Chili?  Ok.  This fall inspired lentil chili by Nourish Atelier has the flavor or a curry but can stand on it’s own without rice.  So rich and creamy.  The instructions are a little hard to follow, so forgive me for that. RECIPE

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Last but not least by any means whatsoever, this gnocchi with a rich arugula walnut pest.  Thank you Pinch of Yum and heck yes! RECIPE

 

Happy Saturday friends, and for you Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

xoxo

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Menu Planning

Saturday Shopping List

Hey friends.  Guess what?!! The keyboard is up and running again.  Got to love Apple products.  Anyways, I’m sorry it’s not Saturday morning, but I have a slew of delicious recipes for your week.  These are some of my favorites (that veggie sushi bowl is to die for!).

Let me know how your week is going or what recipes you really like by tagging your photos on Instagram with #keepingwillow.  Leave me a comment below telling me what you didn’t like, how much your groceries cost or what your kids really liked.

 You can download your shopping list below.  Obviously, some of the things on the list you will already have.  Just check off the the things you need.  There is space below each category to add any other things you need to buy for the week.

You can find all of the recipes for this week in one place by following my “Saturday Shopping List” board on Pinterest here.

Total cost (for all groceries I bought including other food): $101

Shopping List (download)

M E N U //

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This is such a creative twist on traditional sushi (and way less work intensive) by Cookie + Kate.  It’s super delicious and fills every sushi craving. RECIPE

Saturday Shopping List // Keeping Willow

This recipe from Sweedish blog Made by Mary looks divine (don’t worry, there’s a translation into English).  I did find one translation typo.  It says to use 10.5 cups of red wine.  It should be just 1/2 a cup, although you may need that much to share a glass with friends. RECIPE

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Another simple and delicious recipe by Cookie + Kate.  You can’t go wrong with good old tortilla soup.  If you don’t want to make tortilla strips, you can always just buy tortilla chips.  Also, if you can’t tolerate heat, you can substitute a green bell pepper for chile or poblano. RECIPE

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I love Naturally Ella.  This recipe is easy and fast.  You can use regular broccoli if you can’t find broccolini.  Eat with a simple arugula salad tossed with a little oil and vinegar (I included the arugula in the shopping list so if you don’t want it, just omit). RECIPE

 

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The name of this blog is Connoisseurus  Veg.  I kind of love that.  These are easy, simple and vegan served with a maple tahini sauce.  Make them gluten free by using GF breadcrumbs and tamari for soy sauce.  If you’re vegetarian, I recommend adding some feta. RECIPE

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I am picky about my polenta.  I like it creamy, not stiff and gummy.  This recipe by Pinch of Yum is my favorite.  Serve with a poached egg! RECIPE

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This is my number 1, all time favorite stir fry recipe.  The sauce is delcious but Post Punk Kitchen takes it over the edge by adding avocado, basil and some roasted salted peanuts. Also, this method of stir frying I have adapted to all kinds of recipes. RECIPE

 

HAPPY SATURDAY and can you believe it’s already October!!

xoxo

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