Bonnie Stern dishes out kid-friendly recipes

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bonnie Stern at a media event for General Motors, where she discussed balancing life, work and picky-eater children.

I think most of us can relate to the picky eater part. She had some fabulous stories about being a picky eater herself. She said, “you can control what they eat for breakfast and dinner but not lunch, so send them a fun healthy variety”.

She also admitted to suffering from Supermomitus (so many of us do). She put it well, “my kids were picky eaters when they were younger but they survived and now they will eat anything – so don’t worry.”

Try these recipes below – I have tested them all with my kids, ofcourse not both kids enjoyed all of them but what kid likes everything ; )


tried-tested-trueFastest Sesame Noodles Ever


1/2 lb egg noodles or spaghettini
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 small-ish cloves garlic
1 tsp dark (Asian) sesame oil
1.4 cup vegetable oil
Pinch hot red pepper flakes or more to taste, optional

1. cook noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook 4 to 5 minutes until al dente. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile combine soysauce with garlic, hot red pepper flakes sesame oil and vegetable oil until well blended.
4. when noodles are vooked and drained, toss with soy sauce mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has become very popular as itis high in protein and a healthful alternative to grains containing gluten. You can also make the salad with couscous, pasta, rice, wheat berries, rye berries – it always tastes fresh and delicious. You can add cooked chicken cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, dried fruit and other types of cheese.


1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 English cucumber, halved, seeded, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced, optional


1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved, optional

3 handfuls fresh hervs (combination of mint, parsley and cilantro), roughly chopped

4 oz feta cheese, diced (about 1/2 cup/125 ml), optional

1/4 cup chopped almonds or pine nuts, lightly toasted, optional


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or more to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper, optional


1. Rinse quinoa in a sieve under cold water, if necessary. Most quinoa now comes pre-rinsed so check the package. Place quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a simmer, cover, lower heat and cook gently 15 ninutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cool.

2. Mix quinoa with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, herbs and cheese.

3. For dressing combine lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt and mix with quinoa. Place in a serving bowl, Sprinkle with nuts.

Makes 6 servings.


Flapjacks with Nuts and Seeds

In North America we think flapjacks are pancakes wbut in Briain flapjacks are cookie squares and really delicious. I reinvented them by adding nuts and seeds but you can add some ried cranberries or make it plain for traidionalis of fussy eaters


1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil
2/3 cup demerara or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup, corn syrup or honey
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almond flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans, optional
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, optional
2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds, optional
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt


1. heat butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan or in the microwave until melted and sugar dissolves. Whisk until smooth.

2. combine instand oats with rolled oats, nutflour, pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and salt.

2. stir oat mixture into butter mixture and combine well. Pat into a buttered (or lined with parchement pagper) 9′ square pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 mins until top is lightly browned. It will get crunchy as it coats. When cold, remove from pan and cut into squares.

Makes avbout 20-25 squares.

(Recipe by Bonnie Stern)

Check out my review of her cookbook Friday Night Dinners next month – once I have had a chance to make some Friday night dinners that don’t consist of takeout!



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