Back to School & Healthy Lunches for Mom


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family photo with the cute dog

The kids are back in school.

A lot of you already know that Mike and I wanted to homeschool the kids this year. We had already homeschooled the kids for the 2014/2015 school year and then the kids started at the neighborhood school this past year. They had a pretty good year there…. and then the hammer fell. Our house was zoned out of boundary and we were told that we’d only have one year at the new school. Right after the kids had settled in.

We had tossed around the idea of homeschooling the kids again this fall before my book comes out, however, life and it’s crazy twists have made us realize that we just can’t do it this year. I give. I fold. They are heading back to school for this busy mama’s sanity and soul and I must admit that I am very excited about it!.

Now that I have a little bit more “me” time I’m challenging myself to create more wholesome, healthy lunches! One of the hidden secrets of working from home is that you have a terrible eating schedule. Terrible. Unless it’s a new recipe that I’m creating, I rarely take the time to make a great lunch for myself.

boxes of Catelli Ancient Grains pastas

I’ve come up with a list of some fabulous meal ideas for busy Moms, all using the Catelli Ancient Grains pastas. The Catelli Ancient Grains Pastas are all made with an all-natural, 100% whole grain blend of Canadian wheat and five ancient grains – quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet.  Each serving contains 12 g of protein, 8 g of fibre and 25% of your recommended daily iron intake. It’s an easy way to switch to using a healthier, more wholesome pasta in your dishes.

Over the past few months, other #CatelliFamilies (along with myself) have been coming up with some seriously delicious recipes. You all know by now that I am a huge fan of eating whole grain pastas. This is my jam, man. Or pasta. You know what I mean.

Let’s get on with my list of my favorite recipes using Catelli Ancient Grains from other proud #CatelliFamilies as well as the good people at Catelli!

Healthy Steak Pasta Stir Fry

This recipe comes from Randa over at The Bewitchin’ Kitchen. She had me at steak because paired up with the Ancient Grains Pasta this is an iron boosting lunch, something that I am always looking for.

Spaghettini with Fresh Clams, Sausage, Cherry Tomatoes & Edamame

This recipe from Calgarian Chef Michael Allemeier is for the adventuresome palate. Don’t let the ingredients freak you out; the recipe is simple and surprisingly doesn’t take that much time to prepare.

Spaghetti with Salmon & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This is one of those recipes that I would make for me. No one in my family eats salmon excepting me. (I’m not sure what’s wrong with them. How could this happen?) Moms : it’s ok to make a lunch or dinner for just you. This would be a delicious lunch to make and take to work! Make it and pack it up for work, for just you.

Mediterranean Antipasto Macaroni

This is on my to-make list. Not only is this a delicious looking hot dish, but I would make it into a cold pasta for a healthy lunch as well!

Sweet Thai Macaroni Shrimp Salad

Bold, fresh and innovative, the flavours in this dish sound like a dream come true for me!

Let’s not forget my favourite way of eating pasta: with just butter and parmesan. Yes, my kids get it from somewhere. It’s my comfort food favourite and I love it with a whole grain pasta like Catelli Ancient Grains.

Want to try one of these delicious recipes that feature Ancient Grains? I’m giving away 10 boxes of Catelli Ancient Grains pasta for you to test, taste and enjoy! All you need to do is tweet which of the above Ancient Grains pasta recipes you want to try and make your family for dinner, include my handle @KitchenMagpie and the hashtag #CatelliFamilies.  Supplies are limited so get tweeting!

How is everyone doing with the back to school craziness? Remember to take some time for yourself in the fray that fall is!

Love you more than chocolate,


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. DeniseComeau says

    My girl is all grown up now,but if she were still little and I was a work at home mama,I would home school.They get a much better education all around-but I do think our sanity suffers a bit. I eat.I lov food too much I guess,plus my system will not allow me to go without food,my stomach and blood sugar? say otherwise. I lov making soups. One shelf in my freezer is dedicated to my frozen soups and the makings of.I save my potato water-carrot water,drippings.I make a big pot of soup every 2-3 weeks.That is usually my daily lunch-but still I am not skinny! We usually have at least one soup night also weekly.Hubby likes it on weekends also,so I do make alot of soup.Down to 3 containers now,so this morning,another batch simmering…and I always keep some on hand during the summer for rainny days..

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