LifestyleSonoran Living


Mamma J is making back-to-school food prep easy!

Posted at 7:51 AM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 14:35:57-04

Mama J's Coconut French Toast With Orange Slices

Quick and easy Coconut French toast are perfect for the back to school rush. Made with coconut milk, it's smooth and sweet. And, great for the immune system. Coriander stands out with a beautiful nutty aroma and gives kids a boost of fiber. The sweet and savory cinnamon is irresistible.

I created this recipe by accident one morning using ingredients on hand.  It's the only French toast recipe you will ever need. Make a batch on Sunday then slice and freeze for the week. Serve with frozen orange slices. Frozen orange slices taste like orange sorbet. Kids eat them because they love the size, texture and sweetness. And, this is a perfect finger food when eating on the run. This dish is family approved.

For a bread alternative use Ezekiel flourless 100 % whole-grain bread.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: About 8 minutes

Large cast-iron pan
1 tablespoon olive oil and butter for frying
1 loaf sliced French Brioche  
2 cups coconut milk
3 eggs, beaten - room temperature
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt

Preheat pan to medium high for 15 minutes.

Mix coconut milk, eggs and vanilla.

Fold in powdered sugar, cinnamon, coriander and salt.

Coat dried bread in the mixture. Then, place into hot pan with olive oil.

Keep space between each slice. This prevents steaming.

Cook on each side until golden. The powdered sugar makes the edges of the bread caramelized.
Remove and dust with powdered sugar.

1. Bring ingredients to room temperature.
2. Dried out bread is best.
3. Make sure the albumen (whites) mix with the yolks. This prevents excess white hanging from the toast after you cook it.
4. I use powdered sugar because it dissolves and sticks to bread. Granulated sugar falls to the bottom.
5. Preheat your pan. If the pan is not hot enough, the French toast will seep when it hits the pan.
6. Please use cast-iron, It's the goodness.

Frozen Orange Slices:
10 mini Mandarins

Cut 3 slices from each orange. Place each in a separate baggie. Or, place on a large plate unwrapped not overlapping. Put into freezer to serve with French toast.

1. Make sandwiches for the entire week with your favorite fillings minus the greens. Butter both insides of the bread. Fill with your kids favorites. Wrap with no air and freeze.

2. Steam 16 ounces of organic carrots aldente. Add 1 tsp of sugar. Serve one part for snack or with school lunch. A dollop of sugar makes the flavor explode. And, each part is just a smidgen of sugar. Kids love them. Cooked carrots are best for kids. Because, the nutrients from the skin absorb as opposed to raw carrots. One 16 ounce bag of cut and peeled organic carrots Trader Joes @ $1.29.

3. PBJ Cornbread Sammies. Kids can't get enough of this deliciousness. Slice cornbread down the middle and fill with peanut butter and Jelly. Kids love the size and texture appealing to their senses. Single size cornbread loaf Fry's @ 0.79.

4. Ezekiel Organic Sprouted Grain flourless tortilla. Perfect for lunch or snack. Roll tortilla and serve with not processed dipping cheese or hummus. It is delicious. One 12 ouch package Trader Joes @ $2.99.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
This after school snack is delicious. Pour each batch into ice cube tray parts for less sugar. Then freeze and serve 3 to 4 cubes with lots of fresh berries. This creamy treat tastes like ice cream. It is a great way to get them to eat the blueberries. Whip up a batch or two on Sunday and part for the week.

1 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup sugar
7 ounces Greek yogurt full fat

Mash ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat. Stir and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and reduce until thick. Stir often.

Remove from heat and let cool. Pour sauce into blender with the yogurt and mix well. Pour each batch into ice cube tray parts for less sugar. Then freeze and serve 3 to 4 cubes with lots of fresh berries.

Tip: Add 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and reduce as directed. This decadent blueberry sauce is perfect to serve with Mama J's coconut French toast.

1. Frozen Green Grapes
Kids love frozen fruit because of the texture. And, it tastes like Sorbet. Serve frozen grapes as a perfect after school snack. Add them to the frozen blueberry yogurt for added deliciousness. Place the entire bag of clean grapes into the freezer. No need to wrap.

2. Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta. When I found this brown rice pasta I said "where have you been all my life?" Serve a modest part of cooked pasta with a dollop of butter. Trader Joes @ $1.99

3. I recommend serving kids fruits and vegetables at every meal. If they refuse, that's OK. You are modeling healthy choices. And, you are empowering them by allowing them to make a choice. When they get older they will choose the veggies.

Mama J's Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Mustard

Healthy back to school crispy, crunchy goodness. Sweet corn fritters are perfect for back to school dinners. Corn fritters are quick and easy. Kids love them because it reminds them of the beloved crispy crunchy chicken nugget. And, they are not too spicy.

Moms and dads love them because they can toss all the ingredients into one bowl and stir. They are shallow fried in healthy oil with no saturated fat. Make lots and toss into the pan the next day to reheat. The kids may ask for ketchup and this is delicious too.

Prep time: 15-minutes
Cook time: 15-minutes


Large cast-iron skillet
Extra virgin olive oil to sauté
1 cup flour  
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 egg, beaten - room temperature
1/2 cup half and half + 1 Tbsp. = 9 Tbsp. Room temperature
1 Tbsp. Melted butter
1/2 cup thin sliced scallion
1.5 cup sweet corn kernels, fresh
Extra virgin olive oil to sauté


Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium heat.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

Add egg and half and half into batter and mix.

Add melted butter and mix.

Add dry sliced scallions and corn.

Mix well using a scooping motion from the bottom up until no floury lumps exist.  

Add a shallow amount of oil to heat and coat the bottom of the pan.

Spoon 1/4 cup mounds of the fritter batter into the pan. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden brown.

Serve hot with drizzled honey mustard sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce:

Prep time: 5-minutes
Cook time: 0-minutes  


3 Tbsp. Grain mustard
1/2 cup honey


Whisk the two ingredients together until combined.

Mama J's How-To:

Cooking technique is the key to becoming a top chef in your kitchen.

1. Slice scallions at an "equal angle" for lovely texture. If you don't want the kids to see them use a pestle and mortar to squish the white part of the onion. This is also a flavor explosion.

2. You can use canned sweet corn. Blot with paper towel to dry to maintain structure.

3. The temperature of your pan matters. For greater results let the pan, heat (no oil) on medium low for 1/2 hour. Then, turn up to medium before cooking begins. If you want to be a true top chef, put the cast-iron in the oven to heat for 1/2 hour. Or, save this time-consuming tip for the important holiday meals.

4. Don't over-mix batter, or let it sit. This causes gluten forming proteins to toughen the batter.

5. Let cold items sit out for 1/2 hour. If you put cold into a hot pan the product won't sear golden. Because, it changes the temperature of the pan.

6. Use caution so olive oil doesn't overheat. It has a low smoking point and will catch fire. Place oil into pan from the sides, not the middle. Wild smoke means the pan is too hot. I recommend a thermometer.

7. Never use a paper towel to drain. This causes steam and mush. Drain on baking rack. If you don't have a rack you can make one out of butter knives.

Mama J's How-to choose and cook corn:

1. Look for kernels with no gaps between rows. Gaps mean the corn is over matured. If there is no corn on the tip it is not ripe. If kernels sink inward it's too dry and not sweet. Choose ears of corn with small kernels at the tip.

2. Cooking:  For tender, sweet corn, add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Cook long enough to cause the kernels to rupture. About 2 to 3 minutes.  

3. To remove kernels put the bottom of the ear in the small funnel of a Bundt pan.  Then, shave the kernels as they fall into the pan.

4. Shop for corn with the kids and teach them what to look for. When kids participate they are more inclined to eat well.