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Salad Bar 101: How to get your family to enjoy a salad!

I don’t eat GREEN Salad!

Can you imagine my kid said that to me.  “Mommy, I don’t eat green food.”  Really?  Your Mom is a food writer, vegan chef, food photographer, micro farmer–how can you not eat green?

salad bar


I respect that my kid doesn’t like to eat green food.  He really means he doesn’t like salad.  And what he really, really, really means is that when he eats salad he feels like he will choke.  Cooked spinach, the same thing.  Kale?  Takes too long to chew.  I almost get it–in our house, you can not like something but you need to try it and tell me why you don’t like it.  If I suspect that he isn’t being less than sincere in his actions I will ask him to write a 500 word paragraph on why he doesn’t want to eat . . . . fill in the blank.  If he doesn’t feel like explaining it to me, he eats it.  Usually, I get a nice essay on “the dressing is a bit too acidic for my liking.”  My kids probably watch a little too much Cutthroat Kitchen . . .

Renee’s How-To:

My how to get your family to eat salad is really simple!  Like most things in life we tend to complicate the issues!

  1. Model the behavior.  If you eat salad or try new things, your kids will too.  Please do NOT hold your children to a standard that you don’t uphold yourself.
  2. Make it fun–add fruit and veggies.
  3. Make it colorful!  Red strawberries next to yellow peppers make the plate visually interesting–it gives us a pause . . . when we pause new ideas have the chance to form.
  4. Plan ahead–if you cut up broccoli and peppers for the salad and no one eats them . . . plan on adding them to a stir fry.  (the other dinner options are on the downloadable pdf below.)
  5. Creating a salad bar is a great way to introduce a new food with a familiar food.  I have found that I’m more receptive to trying a new food if I have a comforting familiar food on the plate as well.  Try it!

The Show!


Do you want my show notes?  My cheat sheet?  Salad101  Click on the link to download your own .pdf cheat sheet.  Or you can read a few of my other articles on salad!

1. Make your own salad dressing.

2.  Sweet Potato Salad (a great summer salad!)

3.  Make Ahead Salad (great for lunches)


Be Blessed as you eat and live with L.O.V.E.,

oxox,  Renee


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Classic Stir Fry Veggie Dinner!

Classic Stir Fry Veggies

You know what I love about stir fry?

I cut up a boat load of veggies . . .

Have everyone’s favorite sauce on the side . . .

and if you don’t like it, PICK IT OUT!

That’s right!

#VeganRenee Cooking Tips

  1. Prep up veggies for the week all at once.  Batching makes sense in business, laundry, paying the bills . . . why not save time with your kitchen prep as well?
  2. Find out what everyone likes–when a new food is paired with a familiar food kids are more inclined to try it.
  3. Introduce fruit into your stir fry or on the side–pineapple, mango, sliced oranges are all great additions.
  4. Rice or Noodles?  Why not cook up both?  I use Jasmine rice or Basmati–IMHO the best rice, not at all sticky and mushy.

What Veggies do I use?

  • peppers, yellow, red, orange and green!
  • onions
  • mushrooms (button and baby bells)
  • pineapple
  • jicama
  • potatoes (russet, gold and redskin)
  • carrots
  • broccoli or brocollini
  • cauliflower
  • sugar snap peas
  • beans (I dislike beans but sometimes I add them)
  • leftover butter nut squash chunks or sweet potato chunks
  • bean sprouts

What sauces do I use?

  • Mango
  • Curry
  • Teriyaki
  • Garlic Soy
  • just brown gravy out of a jar–one of my kids loves it.  As much as I dislike the idea of brown gravy I honor the choice.
  • Sweet and Sour made with orange marmalade and hot mustard with a bit of water and cornstarch–so yummy!

Be Blessed as you eat and live with L.O.V.E.,



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Oatmeal 101: a Blab Cooking Show

Oatmeal 101

Do you know I do a cooking show?

I do and it is pretty cool.  Just me and my friend Chef Dennis–he is in Florida and I’m in Illinois–we meet up on a live streaming platform called Blab.  Since I AM my own production team–hair, wardrobe, make up (let’s be honest here–I brush my hair, slap on some lip gloss and pick out an apron, nothing tricky) BUT the tech part of it is a huge challenge for me.  On Blab you can be in the test zone–this is a place where I do a sound check, lighting and see what my cameras have in the back ground.  (this is crucial because I don’t clean my entire kitchen!!!!)

I was in the test zone for this blab and a guy came on and asked me all kinds of questions about oatmeal.  It was awesome!  He received  one on one food  coaching and I worked out a few glitches in my presentation about oatmeal.  His first question was . . .

Why a Show on Oatmeal?

He went on saying that oatmeal was boring and he didn’t understand why anyone would want to eat it.  I laughed because I get that a lot!  More than what you might know.  Oatmeal is tasteless and boring.  If you feel this way, please change your mindset.  Watch this show and afterwards I invite you to make boring oatmeal!

Watch me here

A super fun show on oatmeal!

My favorites

I have two.  One is Bob’s Red Mill–all of the oatmeals are wonderful but one in particular stands out for me Muesli and I combine that with a local stone cut oatmeal from Baker Miller.  The combination of the nuts and berries of the muesli with the earthy chewiness of the stone cut oats is a perfect combination for me.  Did I mention that it cooks in about 5 minutes?

Plant Based Nutrition Recommendations

  • try out a few types of oatmeal, they are different in texture and flavor
  • add some super fun toppings
  • commit to having oatmeal once a week
  • remember you can easily make a double batch and reheat in the microwave (I do this all the time)
  • google oatmeal and your health concern–be proactive in your health care

Are you following me?

I post photos of my food on my Facebook page (, Instagram and on twitter . . . follow me there for inspiration!

Be Blessed as you live and cook with L.O.V.E.,



P.S. check out this post about oatmeal!


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