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Vegan tacos that kids will love
One of my son’s all-time favorite books is “Dragon’s love taco’s” and not only do dragon’s love them but so do kids! Especially my kid. And like the dragon’s in the book he likes them WITHOUT spicy salsa.
So as a homage to my son and his love for tacos I want to share with you our favorite taco recipe.
I know, I know, I can see you rolling your eyes at me. Do they need to be vegan? Well, our household has become a pescatarian. I do make chicken once a week because my eldest daughter of 25 just loves meat, even though she wished that she wouldn’t and I do cook fish once a week to, but other than that our meals are usually plant-based. We are not vegan, but I try to I try to limit the amount of dairy that we consume.
So this recipe is one I make almost monthly and both my children, young and “old” (sorry my love) love it. My daughter usually even overeats with this one.
Using the mushroom broth gives it the meaty taste that most of us like, but vegetable broth works as well.
Most people think of cilantro when they think of guacamole, but we are not lovers of this soapy tasting herb, but go ahead.
Use your favorite toppings. We used iceberg salade and cheese, replace the cheese with the vegan variety. Also tasty topped off with some jalapenos, but again, my son does not like it spicy.
Here we go! My take on vegan tacos that kids will love.
Vegan Tacos that kids will love
Cooking the lentils in mushroom broth instead of vegetable broth: it adds a special umami flavor to make the tacos extra savory!
1packettaco seasoningmost supermarkets have it in their world section
1canlentils of choice
450mlmushroom or vegetal broth
1tbsplime juicefreshly squeezed
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add half of diced red onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste, taco seasoning and dried lentils. Sauté for another 30 seconds, then pour in the mushroom or vegetable broth. Allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat. Boil, uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
While the lentils are cooking, bring 200 ml of water to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan. Add the bulgur to the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Transfer the cooked bulgur into the cooked lentil mixture; stir well to combine.
Scoop the avocado halves into a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the remaining cup diced red onion, the halved cherry tomatoes and lime juice. Mix well; taste, and add salt as needed.
Build the tacos by dividing the lentil mixture among the taco shells. Top with guacamole and serve.
Keyword kids, vegan
I have to admit, my food picture taking needs some improvement. I’m getting there, but I needed some help and I the tips I got from reading from Jaime over at “Everyday Art” are SO helpful. Shout out to me other tips that you may have. Needing it very badly. So sorry if the pics are not that great, but the recipe IS!
So I hope that you will try out these vegan tacos that kids will love.
If you follow me on Instagram you will know that we embrace creativity and crafts in our home. For me, it started when my eldest child was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) some 20 years ago.
I looked into ways where I could connect with her and at the same time to help improve her attention span, self-expression, and to help reduce her anxiety.
Twenty years ago I did not have a computer, so no Pinterest and no YouTube tutorials. I did it the old school way. Libraries and workshops/classes.
I found tools that helped, especially using Montessori methods in our daily life like having open shelves in our home to encourage her to craft, read or play a board game, how to learn to have conversations, teaching her daily life skills and giving her freedom to explore and express herself.
This is where I start talking about creativity. I can go on and on about Montessori and I will in the future on this blog but I have started with it because Montessori has also helped us to get creative. It made us think outside of the box.
I’ve learned many things over the years and now we have the internet at our fingertips. Many years later and 4 children further creativity still is a big part of our life. I’m a gap mom, I now have a 5-year-old. He and his eldest sibling are 20 years apart and that means, I’ve had some practice. These are the ways that I encourage creativity in our home.
Create an environment that will encourage them to be creative.
I know many people who rather have their living area unmarked by children’s toys and personality. And all the peace to you. But your child will only be a child for a short period so why not let them take over your home for awhile? As I once saw in a post on Facebook, you will “only” have 18 summers with them. So enjoy those 18 summers and plan to redecorate after that. Pin Pin Pin on Pinterest!
Having open bookshelves is a must. children usually don’t tend to look for the things hidden away. I have one very big Kallax bookshelf. The bottom row has boxes to store little toys, a box for music instruments, a box for Duplo, and box for cars and so on. The shelf above that one has age-appropriate books. Then we have educational toys and learning material. The top shelf is for board games. Next, to that bookshelf, we have the arts bookshelf. For this, I used the smaller Kallax shelving unit. On top of it sits a tray with craft articles we use daily (pencils, markers, crayons, glue, tape , scissors and paint bruskhes). On the shelves beneath are boxes with craft paper, paint, play-doh and so one. Our friends know that we love getting craft stuff.
Space is also a resource your kids need. Unless you don’t mind creative messes everywhere, give them a specific place where they can make a mess, like room in your attic for dress-up, a place in the garage for painting, or a corner in your family room for Legos. We are lucky to have a lot space where we live now and my son has a playroom. In the playroom I store his building stuff like lego and playmobil and we have a clothing rack with his impressive amount of dress up-clothes. His friends just love going up there.
What Monkey sees, monkey does. I tell you, if I just go sit down with some art project, mister 5 years-old will surely join in, I have then successfully lured him away from his iPad.
We’ve heard a lot about attachment, so the concept and importance of bonding with our baby seem obvious. Just because our little one has grown to become a lot bigger, smellier and sassier doesn’t mean your bond and connection is any less vital to their development. In fact, it continues to be of the utmost importance throughout childhood. So go on, get the paint out and make some memories, you might even find out that you have a hidden talent.
Encourage children to read for pleasure and participate in the arts.
Limit TV and other screen time in order to make room for creative activities like rehearsing a play, learning to draw, reading every book written by a favorite author. Maybe they have after-school art classes in your area. One of our favorite outings is our local library. We just like to collect some books and sit on the coach there and read a little, deciding whether or not we chose the right books to take home. We love the library.
Of course you can say positive things about their creativity but we tend to say the same things over and over. “Goodjob” “that’s awesome”.
Try to be honest, look at their project and think about how you can be a help towards their improvement at the same time as being encouraging.
I would sometimes say: “wow, you are getting very good at drawing mommy but I think that I might be missing a few fingers”. 🙂
And please don’t do rewards for creativity. Incentives interfere with the creative process, reducing the quality of their responses and the flexibility of their thought and that would be a shame. Just find a special place to hang it up and give them a great big cuddle.
Let them fail and make mistakes
My son is quite the perfectionist. He has this idea in his head that he wants to execute and when it ends up not being as imagined, he can get very, very upset. When I realize that he is getting frustrated, I just sit next to him and ask him to explain to me what he has in mind or what the problem is.
Yesterday he was trying to draw a dolphin, he couldn’t get the flippers right and he was going to give up and rip the page to pieces. I told him to maybe practice it a few times on the same piece paper and that once he got it the way he wanted, he could take a new sheet of paper. I explained that we all need to practice things, and by not giving up we will usually achieve it. Also, I was there and I was going to help him if he wanted me to. That usually gets him motivated again, knowing that he was alone in front of this endeavor.
Well, he drew a mighty fine dolphin and gifted it to his big sis.
Remind your child it is OK to make mistakes. Encourage them to explore, play around, and make those mistakes. This fosters the love of discovery.
Always have music on in the background
Music, creativity and movement are essential parts of early learning. From singing songs with children to having a variety of music instruments in the open shelves area, it’s important that you create an environment that inspires children to express themselves.
So I have created a few Spotify lists for our family, like the ABC’s and the 123’s, moving and dancing music, classical, children’s songs and worship. I need to create a work-out playlist and have no idea what songs to choose for that, but it’s been my son’s request lately so we could “work-out” together. We are currently experiencing a heatwave this week, so I will put that on hold until after. Until very much after.
My son loves to hand us instruments to join in on the music and we can get very creative then.
I hope I got you all as inspired as I am.
I will share some more suggestions for raising creative children soon and how I’ve integrated Montessori methods into our home.
Meanwhile, if you just want to comment or if you have an idea of what songs to put on our Spotify playlist, please let me know!
You can now buy them ready-made at the supermarket, but you can also cut the zucchini yourself into strips with a spiral cutter or by hand. That is, of course, a bit more work. You can also use half zucchini and half pasta in the recipe if you miss the real pasta. In any case, this is a way to eat extra vegetables.
How uh-mazing is a salmon filet just slightly pan-fried? Not overly baked and chewy. A gently fried salmon filet pairs so fantasticly well with the courgetti and the pesto. If you are not really a fish lover, you could also use chicken, it goes equally well, but I love my salmon.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the salmon in it. Start baking on one side for about 3 minutes, then turn and bake the other side for 3 minutes as well.
Take a large pan, heat a little oil and fry the garlic for about 1 minute. Then add the zucchini pasta and stir fry for about 2 minutes so that it does not become too soft. Season with pepper and salt after 2 minutes.
Add the zucchini pasta to a plate, place the salmon on top and put the sliced radishes all around. Serve with a nice green salad and olive oil.
Keyword gluten free, healthy, low carb
And now, enjoy this low carb recipe: zucchini pasta pesto and salmon!
Sharing today with you 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray”
I’ve done it and I’ve also been at the receiving end of it ( a lot lately). When someone is telling you about how they are suffering or hurting and all you can come up with at that moment is “I will pray for you”. If you are part of a Christian community you’ve probably said this a hundred times. That doesn’t seem quite good enough, but it was all you could think of.
As believers in Jesus, we are charged to walk alongside each other in our pain. We are called to mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:14). We are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). We are to be compassionate, gentle, and patient with each other (Eph. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:8). So what else can we do?
Let us actually pray
Let us actually pray. I tried to write down the names of people who needed prayer. I tried to sum them all up in my daily prayers, but I am very guilty of often forgetting. I try to normalize praying as good as I can for my children. We live on a busy road and we often hear the ambulance speeding by, or a fire truck or the police. When we hear the sirens in the distance my 5-year-old and I say a quick prayer. “Lord help them”. So immediate prayer works best for us and I try implement that now in other situations. When talking to someone I offer to pray there and then. It’s funny how many Christians this actually throws off guard. “You mean, right now?” “Yes — absolutely. Let’s pray.” I also pray immediately when I read that someone is asking for prayer or is obviously suffering or going through something rough on social media. It doesn’t have to fancy, God knows that I’m a pretty casual prayer. He just loves us talking to Him.
“Can I do something?” …People, in general, don’t want to bother others with their burdens. I’m pretty guilty of that. I don’t want people thinking that I am having a pitty party. But I have learned from a few very good friends of mine who have helped me through a crisis that sometimes, as a friend you just need to take over for a bit. People that are overwhelmed by grief have a hard time asking for help and sometimes don’t even know what they need. Like the “Nike” slogan says it, “just do it”. “Just” drop off that meal.” Just” drop by with flowers, “just” pick up the phone and call them. “Just” drop of some sushi or groceries (my favorite). What you sense they need, just do it.
Express sorrow, shock, and regret.
You must enter into the other person’s experience. Try to imagine how they are feeling. What are they thinking? What choices do they face? What might they be feeling physically? What would it be like to see the world through their eyes? What are their greatest fears?
Let them hurt
It’s hard, we don’t want others to be in pain. It makes us sad, it makes us uncomfortable, we don’t know what to do. But sometimes it is what it is and all they can do in the moment is hurt. You just can’t stop it. Acknowledge the inability of words to truly ease the pain.
In dramatic life events, people are usually swamped by people’s offers of help and comforting words. But as time goes on people assume that the person has moved on, but moving on implies that the person is able to. Sometimes they are not. Pure and simple. That’s why it’s important to continue to let them know that you are still there for them. They need time and nobody can tell them how much is enough.
This is my personal opinion as how you can help others besides pray. These are things that I have found helpful and try to do for others as well. I would really appreciate knowing about how people have helped you in the past and what you have taken from it towards helping others yourself.
Be blessed, my friends and try these tips as to the 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray” .
Love is patient because patience is dying to selfishness. It is the belief that in this dying we will find greater joy in the joy of the ones we are seeking to love: God and neighbors. It’s one of the ways we fulfill the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).
Sticky Garlic Shrimp sitting on Broccoli rice. Sounds appealing?
I have to be honest. The first time that I had seen “Broccoli rice” I thought, here you go again, another fad that will pass us by just as Kale has. Ok, many people still eat Kale (I even do), but you do hear less about it, right? So, I did not give it much thought. I mean, I love whole grain rice, especially with a side of Nigerian pepper sauce that my friend occasionally makes for me. So why Broccoli rice? Well, after having passed it by weekly for about year now, I gave in. Mainly because I want to up my veggie intake and also because I was curious after seeing a friend of mine who posted a picture of her meal composed of stuffed peppers and broccoli pesto rice. I yet have to try that. Maybe with some salmon instead of a stuffed pepper.
So I bought the stuff, but what now? What would I normally eat with rice? I don’t really eat meat, except for some chicken occasionally. I love tofu but had none in the fridge and then I remembered the shrimp that I always have in the freezer for moments like these and my mouth already began to water.
I love shrimp! I love how they make it here in Belgium, “Scampi Diabolique”, nice and spicy in a tomato sauce. I love them in a good curry or just nice and simple in some good butter/olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. You need a good fresh bread so you can dip into the glorious garlicky, buttery sauce.
But I was in a salty and sweet mood and this is so quick, I could get to eat it faster! I’m not such a glutton usually, but I had been starved! I had been sick at home with Tonsilitis, and the only thing I could eat for 4 days was actually drinking, some lukewarm soup. And that still felt like I was swallowing a warm beverage with glass shards in it. H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e!
Enough babbling! To the recipe!
Sticky garlic shrimp on a bed of broccoli rice
When I am craving something sweet and salty and I need it quick, this is the recipe I usually go to. Because I like thining out of the box I though that this would pair well with some broccoli rice, and it did. Ready is 20 minutes!
400gramsfrozen shrimpyou can choose your favorite kind, with or without tail
2tbsptamari sauceI'm avoiding glutens as part of elimination diet but if you don't mind you can just use soy sauce.
400gramBroccoli riceNowadays you can buy it premade in stores, but it is easy to make yourself.
Whisk the honey, tamari sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in a medium bowl.
Add shrimp to the marinade and put away in fridge. I don't have to remind you that if you let it sit overnight it will taste even better. So make it the day before if you can. Only takes a few minutes.
Chop the zucchini finely into litte squares.
Add the shrimp into a hot wok with coconut oil and cook each side for about 45 seconds, or until pink. You dont want them to be chewy like rubber, but you dont want to catch salmonella either. Am I right?
Once the shrimp are done, put to the side. You can either pour out the marinade into the bowl with shrimp or leave some in the wok.
Add chopped zucchini to the wok, cook 2 minutes, then add in the broccoli rice for a other 2 minutes. You can add a drizzel of tamari if you would like.
Prep your edamame. I also have a bag of frozen edaname in the freezer for snacking on or for in my son's lunchbox. We love it.
Once it is all ready, scoop some rice zucchini onto a plate, place the shrimps on top and finish it off with the edaname.
If you like it spicy like me, I pour some Sriracha sauce over it.
Keyword broccoli rice, gluten free, shrimp
And voila! Done! Now go on, go and make it and tell me what you think.
And looking for something the kids will love, well try out my delicious taco recipe!
Here, I began to find answers, and it is these answers that will lead me to deepen my relationship with God, to grow, and to heal. God wants you to heal and to grow, too. Don’t be afraid to ask Him “how?” instead of “why?
I’m now on the way to healing. I hope that you are too.
Disclosure: I am not getting paid for the links that I am sharing in thisblog post.
The way that I try to keep positive during hard times is to make a list (usually a mental list) of things that make me happy and that are blessings in my life. I could go on forever trying to count all my blessings because everything that happens is literally a blessing, good or bad. This list serves as a reminder that I have so much. Some of them are things I take for granted on the daily or just things I forget that make me happy. Hopefully, when I am down, I can reread this list and remember that life is full of beauty, even in the pain. Maybe this list of 25 things can help spark a few of your blessings in your life and that can, in turn, bring you joy. So, without further ado, here’s mine.
Taking a warm bath with some Lush products and then hopping into a freshly washed flannel bedsheets bed.
Spending time with friends and children. I enjoy it the most when it is kept simple, like yesterday sitting in the grass while at a free Festival watching the children play barefoot.
Making a perfect boiled egg.
Finding a unique me dress in the thrift store.
Browsing thrift stores.
Watching my little mister sleeping in the cargo bike while biking.
Scents, I just get happy from tantalizing scents. I will smell every candle in the Rituals store, I will spend a crazy amount of time trying to figure out which bath bomb to choose in Lush and will even open each bottle of fabric softener to sniff from at the grocery store before choosing the right one.
Flowers. It can change any room.
Watching my Dachshunds playing with other dogs or jumping into a creek.
Walking barefoot outside.
A breakfast buffet at a hotel. (haven’t had that in a while)
Crafting with my littlest one.
When one of my favorite worship songs comes up in church.
Seeing my grown-up daughter in her medieval attire at a medieval fair.
Getting a new friend request on Facebook.
Reading the newspaper and having coffee in bed.
Seeing new pictures on my grown-up son’s Instagram, enjoying life.
When the transit arrives on time. (this has been a grave annoyance in recent days, so I am happy to see a bus arriving on time)
Plane trips to visit my family overseas.
Watching my youngest jumping through a puddle. (only if he is wearing rain boots)
A good Buddha bowl from my favorite place in Antwerp, Poketiki!
Accomplishing tasks that my (ex) husband used to do.
Teaching my Sunday school class in church. I have the cutest group.
Whew, I did it! I thought it would be hard but honestly, once I started, I actually had a harder time narrowing down the list of just 25.
What makes you happy? I challenge you to make your own happy list and would love to hear some of it in the comments!
After recently finding out about things that I was afraid of. Things that have happened in the past but have now been revealed to me, worse than I had ever imagined…I ended up going through a very rough patch again. I was just starting to recover from the first big blow a few months ago. My heart was broken, it was hurting, I could not stop the tears from rolling down my eyes, seeing images of things that had happened to us unknowingly. How could this all happen? Why was I chosen to carry so many burdens during my life? How could there ever be a way out of this despicable situation? I can’t see it; I am barely keeping my head above the water.
But yesterday, my dear friend came to pay a visit. She lives far away in Romania and she comes over to Belgium often to visit her grandmother who lives here, and now she is here for me, because I needed her. She is a Christian friend; I don’t have many of those here in Belgium. I have Christian people in my life who care and who I see regularly, but for me a friend is someone who that wherever they are, is it another town, another state another country, it will always feel like they are nearby. This friend prays for and with me, she gives me godly counsel and she encourages me. She helps me remember that God has everything under control and that it WILL be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. She is full of encouraging thoughts, she genuinely cares, and she a has wealth of scripture knowledge that somehow really do make me feel better. Sometimes she will do this in person, sometimes by text, but she never fails to be that trusted friend.
A few days before she arrived, I was listening to my Spotify on my way to church last Sunday. You know that list on Spotify that compiles songs based and what you have listened to in the past? Well, there was this song that was really speaking to me, even though I could not really make out the words. I marked it, added it to my favorites and listened to it a frequently in the following days.
So, when my friend left, I needed to bike somewhere, I plugged in my earphones and looked for that song straight away. It’s called “Maker” by Woodland worships. I started to really listen to the lyrics this time and it the refrain was speaking out to me so clearly “You will make away…you are the maker of my heart and you will make a way…when I can’t see a way out, you will make a way”
“Oh Lord, please do that for me, because right now, I cannot see a way out” …my heart cried out to God.
I want to be more like David who too called out to the Lord when he was in desperate state. He prayed, “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!”(Ps. 27:7). Then David testified expectantly, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (v.14). He knew that God would make a way.
I’m finding it hard to do so, but I am so willing for I know that our God is a strong, loving God and so in the evenings I am in an intercessory state of prayer, with this song on the background, moving my heart.
The damage of sexual assault is extreme and it is lifelong. As much as someone forgives their abuser, as much hope as is found in the gospel, we don’t get complete restoration this side of heaven. It does not happen—that’s why the hope of heaven is so glorious. But the suffering here on earth is very real, and it does not go away simply because you forgive and release bitterness. Women who have been abused are going to live, myself included, with lifelong consequences of the sexual assault.
It means that I trust in God’s justice and I release bitterness and anger and a desire for personal vengeance. It does not mean that I minimize or mitigate or excuse what he has done. It does not mean that I pursue justice on earth any less zealously. It simply means that I release personal vengeance against him, and I trust God’s justice, whether he chooses to mete that out purely eternally, or both in heaven and on earth.