Monthly Archives

October 2017

In Blog, Food, Weekly meal plans on
October 29, 2017

Well Fed Weekly Meal Plan #1

The cold has come to Texas and I could not be happier about it! Well honestly who knows how long it will last. Any Texan knows that Texas has bipolar weather so while it was 33 degrees (F) last night it will likely be back in the 90s by the end of the week (le sigh). This weather has had me craving some warm comforting food so that is what I have planned for the week!

Any recipe I add in these meal plans are my own or recipes that I have found over the years and have been tried and true winners for our family. Next to the recipe I will note any changes I made and any dietary specifications. Of course, you know the size of the crowd you’re cooking for, so if you plan to follow this meal plan, look at the portions to decide if you will need to double/triple/whatever the recipe.  This meal plan includes dinner, lunch, breakfast, and snacks for the week. Yes, we eat a lot of leftovers, yes we eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch 7 days in a row (usually) but it saves money and time and that’s why I spend so much time looking for recipes and coming up with recipes we love. I hope you enjoy!

Hey, stop. Before you go any further, if you haven’t read how I meal plan, you might want to check it out to understand this a little better. Cool, thanks.


Dinners

Dinner 1 (M/TH):  Turmeric Roasted Veggies with Hummus and Couscous – fast, healthy, delicious, always a winner. (vegan, can be gluten free if you use a different grain, not couscous).

Dinner 2 (T/F):Lemony Chicken and Veggie Soup by The Cozy Apron– This has been a favorite for years! The herbs de provence, the leeks, the lemon- it is just genius. We have coined it “Sicky Stelly Soup” because we love to eat it when one of us has a cold for the immunity boost from the lemon and it is just so soothing. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can omit the chicken and do chickpeas or white beans, we love to eat it this way as well. (gluten free and can easily be made vegan if you omit the chicken, use vegan butter, and use beans.)

Image from The Cozy Apron

 

Dinner 3 (W/Sat): Lentil Sheperd’s Pie by Plant Based Cooking– Ok, before you look over this one because lentils, come back and consider it. This recipe is SO good. So comforting, so filling, and just so happy to eat. I am not a mushroom person, so I omitted those and used some organic corn. I have also skipped the roasting garlic business at the beginning when in a pinch and just added garlic powder to the mashed potatoes at the end. If you are not 100% committed vegan you can just use regular Worcestershire and regular butter for the potatoes and or to sauté the veggies, that’s what I do. 

Image from Plant Based Cooking

Dinner 4 (Sun): Scrambled eggs with spinach and homemade sweet potato hash browns- I plan to do a post on this eventually because we eat it so often. For now though, you just literally scramble some eggs with some spinach and best case scenario use a food processor with a vegetable/cheese shredder to chop your sweet potato and then sauté those bad boys up in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic. Top with salsa for a real party in your mouth. (vegetarian)


Lunches

Lunch for husband: One Pot Zucchini and Mushroom Pasta by Damn Delicious– I make a big pot of this and all he has to do is get a Tupperware container in the morning and fill it up to take to work. (vegetarian, use rice noodles for gluten free)

Image from Damn Delicious

Lunch for Adrienne and baby: Vegetable Fritters with Avocado Lime Dip – I make a double recipe to last for the week. (vegetarian)


Breakfast

Breakfast for all: Oatmeal with berries, bananas, and peanut butter 


Snacks

Husband– Big ole bag of Trail Mix – I make this in the bulk section at the grocery store. I just might have to post a recipe for this eventually.

All–  Apples and PB, Mary’s Gone Crackers and 5 minute hummus, (we dip baby’s rice puffs in hummus for her)

AdrienneGoMacro MacroBar, Organic Vegan Protein Bar, Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip, Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Baby– Stonyfield organic yogurt, Blueberry Larabars, organic mozzarella string cheese

Happy Meal Planning, folks!

In Blog, DIY, Home projects on
October 25, 2017

Fixer Upper Play Kitchen

Fixer Upper Play Kitchen

Is your kitchen a fixer upper? Are you like me and can’t afford to redo your actual kitchen? WELL- did you know you can make your dream kitchen on a very small budget when it is in a mini size? And better yet, if you have a child they will enjoy it almost as much as you! Having this minimalist modern white play kitchen (that I hope Joanna Gaines would be proud of) in my actual kitchen really enhances the atmosphere.  Can we be real? This was almost as much for me as it was for baby girl. BUT mostly for baby girl (wink).. No, but really- I felt like this would be a great gift that will last through many years and stages. Right now she just likes to look at all of the things in her kitchen, she opens and shuts the doors, but it will soon become a station for lots of imaginative play and creativity. I can’t wait to see what she cooks up over the years!

I originally was going to follow this tutorial however after looking all over town in various thrift stores we couldn’t find an old entertainment center that would work. I ended up finding a play kitchen on a garage sale app that was still in the box for $40 and I decided to use that as the structure. This made the project require minimal work but it was still fun to fix it up!

This is the play kitchen I purchased on the garage sale app.

Here is what you need for the project:

Instructions:

1.       If your kitchen is disassembled paint all pieces in your paint/primer combo first and let dry for a full 24 hours. I did two coats of paint. If your base/kitchen is already assembled then just paint it as is.

2.       Add bronze embellishments. I decided to paint the little oven knobs, refrigerator handle, and the utensil rack knobs.

3.       Next assemble the kitchen according to the instructions.

4.       Measure and cut foam board to fit in the back for the stick and peel subway tile.

5.       Once board is cut, carefully apply stick and peel subway tile to the board.

6.       Staple your board to the back of the kitchen.

7.       Color over any screws with your white paint pen.

8.       A key aesthetic feature I wanted to add was a succulent in a geometric pot. I painted the top rim of the pot with a thin bronze line. If your pot is breakable like mine, hot glue it down to the shelf.

9.       Are you ready to see your fixer upper?! Sit back and ooo and ahh at your (ahem your child’s) beautiful new modern play kitchen! Good times and good eats will be had for years to come!

         Extra goodies

In Blog, Weekly meal plans on
October 23, 2017

WEEKLY MEAL PLANS (the deets)

Well hello there! One of the things I am most excited about posting on my blog is weekly meal plans. I wanted to share in this post a little about what you can expect.

When it comes to my weekly meal plans there will be different set ups occasionally. Sometimes I will post a weekly meal plan with only dinners, sometimes I will do dinners and lunches, and sometimes I’ll really go big and make a meal plan of everything we eat that week- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I will specify on each post what you can expect to see! Another important thing to note is that we are a hardcore leftovers family. There are 7 nights in a week but to save myself from having to cook dinner every night I cook 3 dinners throughout the week that will provide 6 meals for us and the 4th dinner is either a nicer meal like fish or a super simple meal like scrambled eggs.

Here is my formula: On Sunday night I sit down and look at our week plans and make a menu based off what we have going on Monday- Sunday. Grocery shopping happens on Monday. My goal is to get all the food we need that week to last from Monday dinner to the next Monday’s breakfast.  On an average week we eat all of our meals at home for money saving purposes and health purposes. This is how I typically plan for a weeks’ worth of food-

  • Breakfast for 7 days which is almost ALWAYS oatmeal for our family unless we are going out or celebrating something.
  • Husband lunches for 7 days
  • Adrienne and baby E lunches for 7 days
  • Dinner 1 (to be split and eaten Monday and Thursday night or any 2 nights of the week)
  • Dinner 2 (to be split and eaten Tuesday and Friday night or any 2 nights of the week )
  • Dinner 3 (to be split and eaten Wednesday and Saturday night or any 2 nights of the week )
  • Dinner 4 (something simple, or dinner out, or reserved for having a special meal with friends or family over)

Whether you look at one of my weekly meal plans and follow it to a T for a week or even just take one or two of the meal ideas and incorporate them into your weekly food- I hope this is a helpful tool to you. The recipes I share will be mine or recipes that I have made and we have loved many times. Happy meal planning, friends! My hope is to post my first weekly meal plan for y’all next Sunday!

In Blog, Food, Lunch on
October 19, 2017

Vegetable Fritters with Avocado Lime Dip

VEGETABLE FRITTERS WITH AVOCADO LIME DIP

We are not a sandwich kind of family so lunch time means we have to get a little creative. I have a handful of things I make for lunch for us and I cycle through them week by week. When I am thinking of what I want in lunch I want something easy to eat, not too time consuming, full of veggies and nutrients, of course tasty, and filling- in comes veggie fritters with avocado lime dip! When I got this recipe down how I wanted it I added it to our lunch time rotation ASAP! I saw a recipe once for veggie fritters and it was a big thumbs down but I was not ready to give up on this idea so I spent some time and revamped it. All you have to do is a little choppin’, a little mixin’, a little grindin’, and a little sizzlin’ and voila, a delicious lunch that might even last you a few days depending on how many mouths you’re feeding and/or if you just can’t stop popping them into your mouth.

This recipe calls for chickpea flour and let me tell you a little story- I once was making a recipe that required chickpea flour and I looked all around my local grocery store and to no avail I could not find any. I thought to myself “chickpea flour, huh, is it really just chick peas?” So I whipped out my phone and googled this and learned right then and there I could very easily make my own. If you decide to make this recipe you could of course use pre-made chickpea flour but I will post instructions below on how to make it at home.

OK! First, let’s tackle the chickpea flour. If you aren’t about that life then go get you some chickpea flour (Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour – 16 oz.) and skip ahead.

Ingredient– 1 cup dry chickpeas. That’s it!
You’ll also need a coffee grinder or a great food processor and a sifter.
All you do is put your chickpeas in the coffee grinder (1/2 C at a time) and go to town with it. Let those little guys get ground down to a fine powder. If you do this with a food processor it will take you a bit longer but don’t give up! After you’ve got a fine looking powder add it to a sifter to get out all the bigger chunks and sift into a bowl. While the recipe only calls for ¾ C of chickpea flour I say use 1 C to make the flour because not all of it will be useable due to the few stubborn chunks.

Ok, moving on to the main event, what we’ve all been waiting for! The veggie fritters!

Time: 30 minutes
Yields 12 fritters


Ingredients
¾ C chickpea flour
¼ C all-purpose flour
1 large carrot shredded
½ small red onion
½ red bell pepper
1 C chopped spinach
½ C corn
1 egg
½ C plain almond milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tbs nutritional yeast (what the heck is this?) Buy here (NOW Nutritional Yeast Flakes,10-Ounce)
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
A pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil to coat your pan

Instructions

• Chop all of your veggies into small pieces (if you’re eating these as an adult, you do you, make them whatever size you want BUT if you are planning to feed these to a small child, like I did, then make them little pieces ) and set them aside
• Next, add all ingredients (not olive oil which is specifically for cooking in the pan) to a bowl and mix evenly!
• Add olive oil to generously coat the bottom of a stove top pan (no more than ¼ of an inch needed) and turn it up to medium high heat. It should only take 2 minutes or less for your oil to be ready.
• Spoon out your veggie fritter batter into the heated pan in small/medium size dollops and then pat it down with your spoon a little. Turn heat down to medium while you cook all the fritters.
• Let fritters cook 2-4 minutes on each side or until each side looks golden and slightly browned.
• Using a spatula take the fritters out of pan and add to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
• Let cool for at least 5 minutes and enjoy! These little guys can last up to a week in an airtight container in your fridge. Just pull out and heat up the next time you want to eat them.

 

Avocado Lime Dip

Ingredients
• 1 avocado
• 1 clove garlic minced
• 1 tbs water
• Juice of 1 small lime
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 2 tbs chopped cilantro
• ¼ tbs cumin
• Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions- add all ingredients to a magic bullet or blender and mix until smooth and creamy.

Use this dip to take these fritters along with many other dip-able foods to the next level.

Happy lunching!

In Mama on
October 12, 2017

I’m doing it!

Should I really do this? What if it is a total flop? What if people think I am uninteresting or don’t like my recipes? What if I invest all this time for nothing? Well, after a few weeks of having this on my brain all the time the answer is YES, I should do this! Starting a blog has been on my mind for a few years now. I even started a free blog a couple of years ago after many urges from far too kind friends. I think I posted 3 times and then life just got busy, I didn’t have a baby, I had an office job, and yeah- it just didn’t work out. Well, I’m back! And this time I’m back in full force! I am devoted to giving this blogging thing a try. I’m passionate about food, family, creativity, and living life so why not share that with the world!? Even if it only ever benefits one other person, I’m doing it. I think I would always look back and wonder if I could have been a blogger if I never tried. So yes, I should do this and hey look-I’m doing it! I hope you will follow along the journey with me!

In Blog on
October 11, 2017

5 Minute Hummus

Hey! Hi! I’ve got a hummus recipe that takes 5 minutes and guess what I LITERALLY timed myself and it took 5 minutes! Ok well, I’ve gotta be perfectly honest..it took me 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Also, I had all of my ingredients on the counter ready to go. Anywho, hummus is kinda a miracle- it’s hearty, full of protein, versatile, easy, and delicious. We eat this hummus with crackers, on sandwiches, and my favorite- plop it in a bowl meal. Need a go to hummus recipe? Here you go!


Ingredients
1 15 oz can chickpeas
¼ C olive oil
2 tbs water (add more or less depending on how thick you want your hummus to be)

3 tbs tahini
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 drops YL lemon essential oil if you don’t have a lemon)
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

1 pinch dried thyme
Instructions
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor (I have a magic bullet) and blend until smooth.
That’s it folks!
There are so many things you could do to this hummus- toss in some herbs, or roasted bell pepper for enhanced flavor.

 

In Dinner, Food, Recipes, Vegan on
October 11, 2017

Turmeric Roasted Veggies with Hummus and Couscous

Looking for an easy, healthy, delicious, colorful, and feel good recipe? Look no further! I have one right here for you! Turmeric is kinda all the rage right now in the health world and no wonder- it is an amazing anti-inflammatory, it helps with gastrointestinal issues, it makes your skin look lovely, and the list goes on and on. So not only are these veggies coated with the fabulous benefits of turmeric- they have all the amazing benefits of being veggies themselves and we all know how amazing veggies are for our bodies! Pair this dish with my 5 minute hummus, and a grain- I prefer couscous (because it cooks so quickly) but you could use brown rice or quinoa, and throw it all in a bowl for a yummy and happy meal!

This is one of my go to recipes because you really don’t have to think too much with it. If you want to take some creative liberty pick out whatever veggies you like,  flavor it however you want, and pick your grain.  There are so many options and you could have this meal often and not get tired of it as you change it up.


Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4


Ingredients 
1 head of Broccoli
2 large Carrots
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 large Sweet Potato
1 Red onion
Olive oil to drizzle
1 tbs Turmeric
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
5 Minute Hummus
1 cup couscous cooked according to package

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425.
Chop up all veggies into bite size pieces.
Add chopped veggies into a bowl and add olive oil to coat, next add turmeric, garlic powder, and a dash of salt and pepper and stir until everything looks evenly mixed.
Arrange onto a foil lined sheet pan and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes and carrots are easily penetrated with a fork.
While your veggies are cooking make up your hummus and your couscous.
Once the veggies are out of the oven add a base layer of couscous to your bowl, top with veggies, and a scoop of hummus.

 

In Dinner, Food, Recipes, Vegan on
October 2, 2017

Pumpkin and Lentil Curry


Pumpkin and Lentil Curry

IT’S FALL! Who doesn’t love fall? Pretty sure if there was someone who claimed to not like fall, they’ve gotta be kidding themselves. With fall comes….PUMPKINS! I think we all wonder “how can I incorporate pumpkin into every aspect of my life for the next couple of months?” Well I have a great way to incorporate pumpkin into a healthy dinner! Fun fact- I’m pretty sure this is my baby’s favorite meal..She’ll eat anything we give her but this one, she really scarfs down. She is turning ONE YEAR OLD (brb sobbing) this week and I am making it for her birthday dinner and we are gonna eat it out on the porch and soak in all the falling leaves and joy that comes with fall and turning one even if it is 90 degrees outside because Texas.

This Pumpkin and Lentil Curry is full of flavor, oh so comforting, and basically fall in a bowl. I hope you have fun in the kitchen and enjoy this delicious recipe!

Time:1 hour (includes cooking pumpkin) and serves 4

Ingredients
1 small baking pumpkin cubed and roasted (see instructions below)
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion diced
1 tbsp garlic minced
1 cup cooked lentils
1 can diced tomatoes or 2 tomatoes diced
1 carrot chopped
1 tsp ginger (freshly minced or ginger paste)
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
½- 1 cup Almond milk or coconut milk (from can) to add creaminess (optional)

 
Instructions
Pumpkin– Do this first so that your pumpkin can be ready to go when you are
Heat oven to 400
Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy things
Cut pumpkin into 1 inch slivers
Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive or coconut oil and a dash of salt and pepper
Bake for 30 minutes or until it is easily penetrable with a fork
Once cooled enough to touch, cut off hard skin and cut into small cubes

Next
Add oil to a pot and heat
Add onion, garlic, and carrots and let cook for 5 minutes
Add all of the spices including ginger and cook for 5-10 minutes
Add in tomatoes,lentils, and cooked pumpkin and let cook for 3-5 minutes
Add in vegetable broth and bring everything to a boil and then turn heat down to medium low and let everything simmer for 10 minutes
If you want a slightly less chunky curry- turn off your heat and add 2 cups of it into a blender and blend then add back to the pot
Lastly, if you desire a creamier curry add in ½- 1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
You can serve this with rice or eat it alone.
If you want to go all out you should totally make this amazing and simple naan for all the dipping your heart can handle.