Hasseltots & Family Fun in the Kitchen
Meg van der Kruik
Lifestyle Photos: Emma K. Morris
Motherhood is a game-changer
I know that may seem like a no-brainer, but before my kids came into this world I wasn’t really living life to its fullest potential. I was merely existing, although I’m sure I would have fought you on that point back then. I had no idea how deeply and unconditionally I could love someone else. Having children opened my eyes and my heart and lit a fire in my soul to create a world for them that was full of love, delicious food and adventure! Watching them experience all that this beautiful world has to offer gives me more joy than I can put into words.
Wellness to me:
I truly believe that wellness for me comes down to being the best version of myself I can possibly be. There are the obvious ways that I do that—making sure I get enough sleep at night, eating a balanced diet with a few indulgences now and then, and making sure I get up and move throughout the day instead of just sitting at my desk. But there are also not-so-obvious things I do each day to make sure I am taking care of myself, like giving myself time away from screens and social media, taking salt baths and spending time just being quiet. I also find that the more I do for others, the better I feel! It could be as simple as paying a stranger a compliment, taking a friend a home-cooked meal or volunteering at a local nonprofit organization. A small act of kindness does wonders for the soul!
Dinner at the table
It was important for us to make mealtime at the dinner table a priority for our family. There was a time when we were all so busy that we had no choice but to eat independently as our schedules allowed. After a few months of this, we felt so disconnected from one another that we all made the decision to sacrifice the extracurricular activities that interfered with dinnertime and gather back at our family table for mealtime.
Making your own shrubs
I’ve recently started making my own shrubs, and I could kick myself for not jumping on this food trend sooner! My favorite creation so far is a strawberry and pink peppercorn shrub that I make with organic red wine vinegar that contains the “mother.” Not only are shrubs refreshing, but the vinegar actually helps to calm my stomach when it is super acidic.
I love adding quick pickled fruit to my salads. I know, it sounds crazy, but fruit like apples, cranberries and strawberries pickle beautifully and have a sweet/tart twang to them that I can’t get enough of. As far as dressing goes, there is nothing I love more than adding roasted garlic to my vinaigrettes; it really takes them to the next level!
Never underestimate the power of adding acid to your foods. A little lemon juice, lime juice or a splash of vinegar right before you serve your dish goes a long way to really make the flavors in your meals pop!
My Naturopath in Applied Kinesiology
Not a lot of people know this, but I’ve been battling multiple illnesses associated with toxic mold exposure for over a year. I’ve seen a lot of doctors and tried a lot of different treatments over the past 18 months, but it wasn’t until I started seeing a naturopath who specializes in applied kinesiology that I actually started healing and feeling more and more like myself. My severe symptoms, which included things like sinus disease, hyperthyroidism and extremely elevated liver enzymes, are completely under control now, and I actually feel better than I have felt in years.
Honestly, I didn’t think much about how food impacted our lives and health until our now seven-year-old son was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance at 16 months old. Our entire family had to make a shift in our diet to ensure that our home was a safe place for Kash. Within a few weeks of eliminating gluten, we all felt better than we had in years! We had more energy, slept better and my husband’s battle with chronic inflammation in his joints went away.
Energy detox shots
I am pretty basic when it comes to detoxing and cleansing. My favorite wellness shot is fresh-pressed ginger and lemon with a few drops of oregano oil and a dash of cayenne. It’s super spicy but makes me feel great!
I started using cinnamon in savory dishes a few years ago, and it blew my mind! Cinnamon roasted cauliflower is one of my family’s favorite side dishes, and it’s super easy. I toss 1 head of cauliflower florets with olive oil, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp sweet paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp chili powder, salt and pepper. Then I roast it in a 450°F oven for 20 minutes until golden brown, tossing once during the cooking time. I should warn you, though, it’s addictive!
2 lb baby red potatoes, scrubbed clean
3 tbsp olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the potatoes, then place them on a cutting board on their flattest side. Working one at a time, place a potato between two chopsticks; this will prevent you from slicing all the way through. With a sharp knife, slice down from the top until the knife makes contact with the chopsticks. Repeat the process, creating thin slices all the way down the length of the potato. Do the same with the remaining potatoes. Arrange the Hasselback potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with half the olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and brush with the other half of the olive oil and roast for an additional 20 minutes until the slices are fanning apart and crisp on the edges while the potatoes are tender in the middle.