perfect fall apple recipes!

fall has arrived.
the kids are officially back to school. the trees are starting to slowly change colour and lose their leaves. people are taking about going apple picking and there’s even a crispness in the air on some mornings, oh yes, fall has definitely arrived.

this time of year i like to use my oven a lot for baking and dinners; we don’t have our furnace on so it’s a great way to warm up the house when needed. here are 10+ fall recipes to get your home smelling delicious and cozy this fall!

apple sandwiches from oh she glows
old fashioned apple crisp from blissfully delicious
apple chips from whole living
caramel apples from dot come women
orange cocoa apple bread from kitchen illiterate
spirit tree apple pizza from off the beaten palate
apple muffins from the girl who ate everything



apple pie bites from yummy mummy club

apple sauce from canning basics

(vegan) apple pie from the southern vegan

which one is your favourite?
let me know if you try out any of these recipes!

xo, mama lola

fun vegetarian lunch ideas!

i know many kids have already returned back to school. my eldest goes back next week, and to prepare i have collected some healthy, fun lunch ideas! my bear gets easily distracted from eating, so i’m hoping if i change things up a little and create little fun surprises, then maybe he’ll be more inclined to eat. we’re vegetarian and his school is a nut-free, waste-free zone, meaning there are certain foods i’m not allowed to include in his lunch and we need to use a steel lunch box to reduce product waste. i’m not bothered by this because i’m very conscious of dietary issues and always do my bit for the environment! anyway, i want to make sure he’s getting everything he needs in a day with these restrictions in place!
i guess only time will tell!

how do you get your kids to eat their school lunches?

it’s so easy to always make the same thing for lunch. i love these ideas, because it shows that if you think a little out of the box you can really get creative!

here’s what to think about:

  • presentation is key; it’s not just about fun shapes, think brisght colours too
  • hitting the oh-so important food groups
  • cutting things into smaller, bite-sized portions
  • don’t forget about drinks too
  • investing in good BPA-free containers that are easy for kids to open and close
  • don’t forget to label all the pieces of the lunch sets

sooooooooooooooo…. here we go!


make your own sushi from bear & lion

(i think the bread actually has meat inside, but you could easily substitute with hummus or cream cheese.)

healthy choices from i pack lunch

vegan club sandwich from healthy. happy. life.

roasted tomato grilled cheese from the wimpy vegetarian

falafel & tzatziki from peas and thank-you

pizza pops from bear & lion

vegan sweet potato, coconut milk and sweet chili ravioli from  reclaiming provincial

christmas cactus from organized bites

coming up soon… hot vegetarian school lunch ideas!
perfect for cool fall or chilly winter days!
xo, mama lola

make your own sushi!

many people are very surprised when i tell them that sushi is my families favourite food. bear, in fact, hates cooked fish and refuses to eat it, but will happily gobble up raw salmon in a flash. strange? perhaps, but i don’t mind. it’s healthy and the benefits of salmon on his wee body are so amazing. i’m always encouraging the boys to eat more as i list the parts of their bodies that will reap the rewards… their brain, skin, muscles, hair and eyes. 

we’ve fed the kids sushi since they started solids. it’s healthy, served in perfect bite sized portions and has all the foods kids generally enjoy like, avocado, fish, and mango.  these are all super soft, flavourful and great foods for early eaters.
anyhow so, here’s how we did it and what we made. we kept it pretty simple.

1 avocado
1 carrot
1 mango
1/2 english cucumber
1 package dried seaweed sheets 
2-3 cups sticky rice
2 cups 

* as desired
pickled ginger
wasabi paste
soy sauce or tamari sauce

** you will also need a sushi rolling mat or something like it to roll up the ingredients in.

1. cut and slice all ingredients first.
2. take your rolling mat, place one sheet of seaweed, then a layer of rice and finally choose which flavours you want inside. the guys chose salmon and avocado, carrot and mango, shrimp and carrot, and so on. it really doesn’t matter, just make what you like!
3. carefully roll up the ingredients. it may be useful to push down a little as you are rolling. use a little water to make the seaweed sticky and once the roll is ready, cut up into bite sized pieces.
4. serve with edamame, pickled ginger, wasabi and a sauce for dipping. we prefer tamari sauce to soy sauce.

the danger with sushi is eating too much, and we made way too much for dinner. but, these bites sized delights are perfect for school lunches or for afternoon snack. 

xo, mama lola

pizza pops!

bear complains that he doesn’t have enough time to eat at school. he is an excruciatingly slow eater at home and i’m sure at school he is even slower, as he gets distracted so easily. i’ve tried to figure out how to fill him with lots of good calories, fats and energy, without loading him up on sugar. 

here’s my first try at pizza pops/ rings. i found the recipe from here, at “cooking with my kids”. her recipe is super small and simple, but i thought it was good place for the bones of the recipe. since i only have one tiny muffin tin, i also pulled out my donut pan to see if i can make pizza rings. the donut pan purchase was inspired by tiffanie at corner blog who has a 101 donut pan ideas.


1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups milk
2 egg, lightly beaten (i just used my egg substitute)
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 small handful of pitted black olives

1 sprinkling of dried oregano
1 sprinkling of sea salt & fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and grease muffin and/ or donut pans.
2. Chop up olives, shred cheese and zucchini and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg.
4. Stir in the mozzarella, veggies and olives and let stand for approx. 10 mins.
5. Stir the batter and divide among the pans. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
6. let cool on a cookie rack before serving!

* i think using tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, other cheeses and whatever else you may find in your fridge, would create great  flavours for the pizza pops. 

* i did try a couple of pizza pops, with pasta sauce mixed into the dough, but they turned out really soft. a bowl of sauce for dipping might be the way to go, as suggested from the original recipe.

[ lion shed a few tears as he waited for the pizza pops to cool down. ]

a big hit with the boys and a perfect after school snack for my hungry cubs!


xo, mama lola

tomato n’ cheese sami’s.

these are the perfect sami’s for lunch on a cold, damp fall afternoon. 

all you need is bread of any kind, butter, cheese of any kind, tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh ground sea salt n’ pepper. i buttered each piece of bread first, layered some thinly sliced extra old cheddar cheese, then i placed the tomatoes  and tucked a big leaf of basil in. on top i put thick chunks of cheese (i found some left over havarti, which was yum).

preheated the oven at 350F, once it was hot enough, i baked the sami’s for about 10 minutes. obviously, this will vary for everyone depending on your oven, but it’s a fast, delish lunch.

i served them with ketchup and pickles, the kids loved ’em!

xo, mama lola

healthy quinoa patties for dinner!

i have been looking on pinterest for more interesting lunch ideas for bear. he loves wraps and sandwiches just fine, but they look pretty plain and no amount of avocado will jazz things up enough!

while pinning, i stumbled upon this recipe for quinoa patties from an aussie food blog, cook republic. yum! we have quinoa in the pantry and the kids love it, so i made them, just like that. i had to customize the recipe, removing the eggs and using ground flax seeds instead. i also added and removed ingredients according to our likes and supplies on hand.
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
egg replacer : 2 table spoons of ground flax seed mixed with 6 table spoons of water to make paste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sprinkling of sea salt & ground black pepper
olive oil to pan fry
mix all ingredients in a bowl. heat olive oil in pan. take a spoonful of the quinoa mix and mould the patty in your palm. i found that if i made them slightly thicker initially, they flattened out better. i made my patties about 2cm’s high with a 5cm diameter. the patties are very fragile and can easily crumble, but if you fry them on a low heat and remain patient you can get good shapes.
i used red quinoa, the patties are not burnt.
quinoa patties, healthy dinner, vegetarian
quinoa recipe, patties, healthy dinner
we enjoyed our quinoa patties with a bowl of potato and leek soup, and a green salad. i made a quick sour cream dressing (sour cream, white vinegar, sea salt, sugar, fresh dill)l to dress up the patties, instead of having ketchup as suggested by cook republic.
next up, home made crescent rolls. i like the idea of the small snack, but hate to think of all the additives and chemicals used in the ready-made stuff in tube. and, if i make lots i can freeze ’em! and they can be jazzed up with various fruits and seeds, oh my!
what kinds of things do you make your kids for lunch? i’m looking forwardto the day i can send bear with a thermos of warm food in it.
xo, mama lola
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