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Quinoa & Berry Breakfast

A few weeks ago I did a reset detox (more on that in a future post) and all of the recipes were so amazing! I have a friend looking for some quinoa recipes and I realized I haven’t really blogged any of the ones I’ve tried.

So to kick it off I am going to post a recipe for one of the breakfasts I had on the detox. I never thought to have quinoa for breakfast, but really its a hearty healthy option much like steel cut oats!

Quinoa & Berries
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (red quinoa pictured here)
1 cup mixed berries
1/2 tbsp coconut oil

Mix together while quinoa is warm and eat! ((I make a batch of quinoa and then reheat in the mornings since its quicker!))IMG_20130909_093656_551

Time Flies When You’re Havin’ Fun!

Wow.  I just realized I haven’t blogged in a month.  Work has been crazy busy (yay!) and life has too (double yay!) I also just realized it will have been a year next week since I started this rambling blog!

I still don’t know what direction I am headed with this blog, or with life for that matter.  What I do know is that I need to get back here more often.  I have so much running through my brain that I need to get down on paper, or in this case, e-paper.

I know I threw out a challenge about eating healthy on a budget.  But I wasn’t really sure how to document it properly.  So I am working on it, and when I figure it out I’ll share it immediately.  I have already started noting all of the money saving things I do each month that I plan on sharing as well.

For instance, I use mint.com to budget my life, and there is a groceries budget I have set.  Maybe I can make a snap shot of that? Excel spread sheet of actual shopping trips? Hmmmm.  I feel like I was really thorough with my birthday freebies challenge last year, so that this needs to be equally as detailed.  Please feel free to drop me some suggestions on how to document or even money saving tips you use while grocery shopping!

I’ll keep you posted.

Chipotle Black Bean Stew & Cornbread

Chipotle Black Bean Stew & Cornbread

In other news- I am in LOVE with Bentgo boxes.  They are washable lunch boxes that include cutlery so that you can take your breakfast/lunch/dinner to work with you. I picked up two of them on Groupon and I am so mad that I didn’t buy more!!!!  I just can’t justify paying full price. Hello, have you met me?!

They are BPA free, can be used in mircowave, freezer, and dishwasher.  The larger bottom section I’ve got show here (left) with Chipotle Black Bean stew leftovers and on the top tray I cut my cornbread muffin in half keeping my topping of cheese separate. Last week I used them for my breakfast of red quinoa, almonds, berries and coconut oil (below) to take with me to work. The bottom section is REALLY big.  It was two huge servings of quinoa, I went a wee bit over board…

Red Quinoa & Berries Breakfast

Red Quinoa & Berries Breakfast

Anyway… no one is paying me for this post, I just needed to check in, and what better way than tell you all about a product I am LOVING!  Now if Groupon will just offer them again, I can stock up…

PS- have I mentioned how much I LOATHE my “new” phone? I need to probably bust out my DSLR to start taking pictures to post here. It’s embarrassing…

Sick and Tired.

You know what I am sick and tired of hearing?  That it is too expensive to eat healthy.  No. It’s not.  It’s expensive to be lazy.  It takes effort to eat healthy, not money.

Meal planning is HARD, food prep is HARD, cooking is HARD.  But none of it costs anything if you do it yourself!

Convenience is expensive.  Healthy eating is not.  Not to mention salads at fast food restaurants are most of the time just as bad for you as the burger and fries!  And don’t even get me started on Subway sandwiches…

I am creating a personal challenge for the month of August to document all of my food spending and share it with you at the end of the month.  I will also share with you then all of my tips like planning, shopping and prepping once a week for keeping on track and on budget.

Stay tuned, won’t you!

Summer, Summer, Summer-tiiiime… And Three Bean Salad

One of my favorite things about summer (besides sangria and pool time, duh) is all of the fresh veggies and fruits at the farmers market.  Over the past three months I have pretty much gone vegetarian, only eating meat roughly once a week. In doing so I feel so much better inside and out.

People always panic when you tell them you are making the conscious effort to not eat meat. But how will you get enough protein?!  Iron?!  OMG you are going to DIE!!!!!  Funny, I plug all of my food into my handy My Fitness Pal app and I check every day and my nutrition information begs to differ! You want to know why? Legumes and greens and other nutritious foods that are tasty, cheaper, and healthier. Go figure!

A staple every summer in my kitchen is a three bean salad I had first tried about 15 years ago at my friend Kath’s outdoor party. It’s her mom’s recipe, but over the years I have tweaked it up for my taste.  I like to make a full batch, and use it as a side dish all week.  With all of the beans, it is a great source of… you guessed it… protein!  It’s light and tangy and perfect all summer long.

three bean saladThree Bean Salad

15 oz can wax beans
15 oz can garbanzo beans
27 oz can kidney beans
½ bunch cilantro finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 packets splenda (or ¼ cup sugar if you prefer)
1 green bell pepper chopped
4 green onions (including greens) finely chopped
4 celery stalks finely chopped

Drain and rinse the beans in a colender.  Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.  Tastes best next day.  Keeps for 4-5 days.

Note: I use the reduced salt canned beans.  If you prefer to soak dry beans, go for it, but you may need to add a touch more salt to the salad. Conversely, if you use regular canned beans, you may want to omit the salt and add to taste!

Lemon Cheesecake

I am FINALLY able to sit down for a moment and post this recipe!  I have been making it for years, and it was my dad’s request for Father’s Day, so of course I obliged.  I originally got it from kraft.com a million years ago when I was scrambling to bring a dessert to a summer shindig, but think I have perfected it, if I do say so myself 🙂

Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

2 pkg cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
lemon zest from one small lemon
fresh lemon juice from same small lemon
2 eggs
1 large graham cracker pie crust

Preheat oven to 350. Beat cream cheese, sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla on medium until well blended.  Add eggs, mix just until blended. Pour into crust.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.  Cool.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.  Optional: Garnish with more lemon zest, or any fruit you have handy.  This day it was fresh strawberries from the local farmer’s market.

Note: I usually don’t add Reddi-whip to cheesecake, but my dad loves the stuff… and hey, it WAS Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad ❤