So we are not in a sugar overload in our house. Sorry folks. But I feel for those who are. I do, however, end up in an over-sugared state often enough due to my baking addiction that I have some tips that hopefully the whole family will enjoy.
My first suggestion would be to make the dill waffles with beet compote featured in VegNews this month (November/December issue). They are SOOOO devine. The best part is, you make breakfast and it looks like you've made a pillowy waffle with strawberry topping and a dollop of whipped cream, then you bite in and even though the taste isn't at all what you expectred, it's such a wonderful surprise it doesn't matter. We had these on Sunday for our "Sunday waffles" and they are now my favorite and topping the charts for Violet too. She wasn't as interested in the compote, but gobbled up dill pancakes with Tofutti sour cream. No, I'm not posting the recipe. Go out and support this vegan publication that has bounced back after the photo scandal of 2011 and needs our support.
My second suggestion in from the world of macrobiotics. I've read a bit of The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics and The Kind Diet, both of which encourage a macrobiotic plant-based diet. Now, I'm no expert or even novice at the world of macrobiotics, but I have gleened a bit of advice that really makes sense.
Brown rice just makes you feel good. It's healthy, nutty, and filling. It can be a vehicle for whatever you are wanting, and it's a great alternative of a heavy pasta when your body is already feeling weighed down by pillowcases full of candy. If your kids are like mine, brown rice isn't too hard of a sell, especially with a yummy sauce they like. I make microwave "rice pudding" the next day with leftover rice and soy milk with a little maple syrup and cinnamon and it's V's favorite. Rice goes great under a stir-fry, but it also works in less typical ways, like tossed with pesto or with a "cheesey" sauce. It's wonderful in soup as well.
Miso soup can be more than that thin savory bowl of deliciousness you get at the sushi bar. I buy my own miso paste, wakame seaweed (you buy it dried at Asian groceries or maybe in the ethnic foods aisle of your regular grocery store. While you are there, check out hijiki and arame, other delicious seaweeds. Then buy some dried kombu to cook with your beans and help the "digestive" properties). There are a few different kinds of miso paste, and I buy different ones. I particularly like red miso because the flavor is the strongest, but in many vegan "cheese" alternative recipes they call for the mild flavor of white miso. Try out different ones and see what you like. When I was recovering from a stomach bug, miso soup with brown rice and flax oil was what sustained my unborn baby and I and kept us nourished. It's very "healing" based on most readings. Miso is fermented, and good for the body. Even those who avoid soy often say that miso is a healthy way to get soy.
Beyond the typical miso broth with wakame seaweed, you can add mushrooms, bok choy, and any other vegetables you like to make it more of a hearty stew. The wind and snow are making me prefer that idea over a simple broth. The broth alone is great for recovering from tummy troubles, or just warming up after being out in the cold too long though. For kids, it's salty and umami in a way that they like, plus it's got protein to boot. Pefect snack to refuel before heading back into the cold, and a nice alternative to the cup of hot chocolate standby (although I believe moderation is key, since I brought a thermos of cocoa to our snowy park playdate this morning- however she didn't have any candy yesterday).