Tamarah has been living with Celiac disease for over 10 years. She strives to find healthy, well balanced, gluten-free recipes for her family of seven.
Tamarah Rockwood is a mom of five beautiful children, and she is busy. Between home schooling and raising a family, Tamarah looks for new and fun ways to engage her kids in the kitchen to explore vegetables. As a fellow blogger of the Platypus Directive, whom I greatly admire, I’m so delighted to share her story with our community of how she has found new ways through the Joyful 12 to cook vegetables with her kids. Between regular school work and special projects like learning about the French Revolution and how it coincides with Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” I don’t know how Tarmarah gets it done, but I’m so honored the Joyful 12 can be a helpful tool to such a rockstar mom.
Tamarah’s girls picking fresh herbs for their recipe
How has the Joyful 12 helped you get more fruits and veggies into your family’s diet?
We are a big family of 5 kids and 2 adults, which means we have lots of tastes and lots of experiences under our belts…so we are up for (just about) anything! I’m still working on warming up to peas, myself. Some of the best food experiences we have had were when we are taken clear out of our culinary comfort zone. For a little while we lived in Beijing – wow, was that a bucket of food experiences! The spices, the vegetables, the smells, the tastes…they were just completely different than anything we had ever had before, and it was so exciting! We love things that shake things up a little, along with our day to day favorite dishes, so I especially love finding new ways to cook vegetables with the kids.
The tricky part for us, especially as a family of 7, is that I have Celiac, which means I am always looking for healthy, well balanced, gluten-free recipes I can make for the whole family. I have been doing this for well over 10 years now, and it hasn’t always been easy. I was thrilled to find a well designed, thorough website that helped families prepare good, gluten free meals together.
I have been such a fan of Joyful 12’s approach to vegetables in the kitchen ever since I heard about it. It is a unique, fun, easy way to get the kids interested in new foods and new ways to prepare them! Learning is a key ingredient to our lifestyle, and I have thoroughly enjoyed showing the kids videos and recipes of new ideas and new flavors with Chef Hollie’s guidance.
Have you noticed a change in your kitchen skills?
The instructional videos have been enormously useful. I think I’m okay around the kitchen…for a novice. But it is always helpful to get some real tips from experts on how it actually should be prepared. And, being a rather visual/kinesthetic learner, the videos are an absolute godsend for me (just being honest).
How did your kids (or family—husband, parents, other family members) feel about the Joyful 12 veggie dishes you prepared?
I am very happy to say that everyone has loved everything I have made from Joyful 12. Even eggplant, which is my nemesis.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I love the energy, enthusiasm and optimism Joyful 12 brings to cooking healthy meals. Too often we feel stuck with 80’s recipes of over-steamed cauliflower dredged in melted cheese…and I didn’t like it in the 80’s, and I certainly don’t like it now. What I especially don’t want is to pass on bad cooking tips to my kids. I want them to be able to navigate the Farmer’s Market like a pro, and know what to do with fennel and kale, besides steaming the daylights out of them. I am an idea person, at heart, and I thrive off the energy other people put into what they love. Joyful 12 has just been fun from the beginning, and I am looking forward to going through the Autumn season’s vegetables with the kids!
Tamarah’s family loved our Buttermilk Parmesan Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers from the Joyful blog alongside with their Joyful 12 veggies sides for this interview. As she said, “I have a shot of one of my sons holding the bowl with the batter, but I’m afraid to say it was so much fun for the kids to make, they got them in the oven and eaten before I could get many more pictures!”