“Mommy, are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?”
My daughter with worry in her eyes, trying to look at my face while rubbing my lower back.
I took a step back and grabbed a kleenex, wiping my tears.
Darn onions. Guess the breathe in and out from your mouth only technique doesn’t work after all.
“I’m okay, sweetie. It’s just the onions.”
Ava’s face suddenly turned from concern to muddled discontent.
“Why would the onions do that to you?”
She is at this fun area in her life where she strongly believes that every single thing on this planet thinks, feels, and acts the same way humans do. In a way, she’s actually correct.
I chuckled, splashed some cold water on my face from the kitchen sink and went back to business.
My seven year old is a great kitchen helper, willingly always offering a helping hand and curiously involved in the entire cooking process.
I found that when she started doing this, and also when my three year old (very picky) son also started wanting to help out a bit, it has positively helped in their eating habits quite a bit.
When kids know they have contributed to creating a dish, they will most often be super excited to devour it. Win-win for all!
Also, according to Barilla Canada’s Share the Table initiative, 64% of Parents say cooking a meal together is important in connecting with their kids, outranking watching TV together and going to the movies.
Well, that makes sense. Cooking encourages conversation and focus and not only are they learning to cook but they’re also spilling all the deets of their little lives without you having to bug them about it after school (to which they either forget or won’t bother sharing unless you ask them multiple times).
Another thing I enjoy including my children in is grocery shopping (unless I want my alone time – yes, grocery shopping is a mini vacay for me!) as it helps them to develop an appreciation for food and the value of a dollar! And as a parent, we know very well the importance of savings.
If there are two things that are extremely important to me (next to the obvious) it’s saving money and time.
What if I tell you you can create a budget-friendly meal for the entire family (plus some leftovers!) for under $15?
It’s winter, it’s cold, my family needs some warmth in their tummies and I’m swamped with work right now so there is one dish that I always make that satisfies everyone and makes a enough for me to refrigerate and serve again the next day! Oh, and it’s gluten-free. And all the ingredients rack up to less than $15!
Chicken Sopas is a cultural favourite soup deriving from the beautiful country of the Philippines made with macaroni pasta, chicken, veggies and a creamy chicken broth. It’s so hearty and comforting and absolutely delicious!
I love Barilla Canada’s gluten-free pasta options and used their gluten-free elbow pasta in this dish. My kids can never tell the difference between this and regular macaroni pasta.
To learn more about Barilla Canada, visit them online at http://www.barilla.ca and follow along on social media at @BarillaCAN on Twitter and at facebook.com/BarillaCanada.
Enjoy this appetizing and soothing budget-friendly family favourite recipe!
- - 1lb of chicken breasts, cut into small strips (or any leftover chicken, shredded)
- - 1.5 cups of Barilla gluten-free elbows
- - 2 cups of chicken stock
- - 1 can of evaporated milk
- - 2 celery stocks, chopped
- - 1 carrot, chopped
- - 4 garlic pieces, minced
- - 1 small onion, chopped
- - 1 tbsp of butter
- - salt and pepper to taste
- - fish sauce (to taste if you prefer)
- - hot dogs, chopped
- - cabbage, shredded
- - red pepper, diced
- - boiled eggs, cut in half for topping
- 1. If you're using chicken breast, cut up and set aside. If you are using leftover chicken, shred and set aside. Cut all your veggies and set aside.
- 2. In medium heat, melt butter then add garlic and onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
- 3. Add chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes.
- 4. Add chicken stock and allow to boil. Once boiling, add macaroni.
- 5. Once macaroni comes to boil, add evaporated milk with 1/2 cup of water. Let come to boil, then add veggies. Salt and pepper to taste (and/or fish sauce).
- 6. Cook everything on medium heat until macaroni is al dente (8-10 minutes).
- Serve and enjoy topped with boiled eggs!
There truly is nothing quite like a warm bowl of chicken soup on a Winter’s Day (or any day!), is there?