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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weekly Menu

Here's what's on the menu at the Hive this week.

Monday - Te-Man was sick...So we literally had french fries for dinner.  I thought about feeling guilty about this...and then I thought screw that. :)
Tuesday - Salads, Homemade Roasted Garlic Whole Wheat pretzels (Keeper? Wolverine says yay...I say nay.  We'll see if I can make them better.), and Plant Based Spinach Artichoke Dip
Wednesday - Red Beans and Corn Bread (I'll take a picture tonight and post this one soon!)
Thursday - Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Oven Baked Beans and salads
Friday - Coconut Curry Noodles (this one is amazing! I can't believe I haven't posted it yet! Soon!!)
Saturday - Vegetable Pot Pie
Sunday - We're going to the Rams Game!!!

What are you eating this week?

Do you have any tricks to share about how to make dinners throughout the week easier?  I love freezing a second dinner's worth of meals - it is awesome to know that a simple opening of the freezer door means dinner!

You know how they say to have all of your basic veggies and fruits washed and prepped for easy meal prep.  They aren't kidding!!!  I have started recently dicing/slicing/cubing/etc peppers, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, etc. on the weekend so that during the week all I have to do is grab the containers from the fridge.  This week I took it a step further and actually combined all of the vegetables in the specific amounts each recipe called for.  Then I just labeled the top with some masking tape and a marker.  So I have a container marked Red Beans, Baked Beans, Curry, and Pot Pie.  Then all I have to do is grab the one dish and add the remaining ingredients.  So awesome!!!
I do this with my granola bars, cookies, and pumpkin bread too.  When your recipe calls for sometimes 10 different types of nuts, seeds, oats, etc. it can be a pain digging everything out of the cabinet each time.  So I just pre-measure all of my dry ingredients into sealed containers and then when I want to make something I grab it back out, add the maple syrup, applesauce, etc and BAM into the oven! :)

I also dice and freeze left over fruit before it goes bad - instant smoothies or Popsicles!

I have also been lately cooking off three to four times the amount of beans I need and then freezing them in 15oz portions so I can just grab a bag of beans without having to have the forethought of soaking them the night before.  I guess normal people would just use a can not really a time saving tip unless you're looney like me. :)

Have a wonderful week!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Be in Love...

With Your Life...Every Minute of It.

I need to have this tattooed on my arm.  I so often fall victim to the I'll be happy "when" sickness.  My life is amazing - right now.

I need to stop worrying if have met all of my imaginary deadlines, if I accomplish everything on my completely ridiculous to-do list, if I have "done enough" today, if I have done enough for everyone else.

I need to start doing more for me, being in the moment, realizing our world will not end if things get put off until tomorrow, next week, or never get done, realizing that doing things with people is usually better than doing things for them.

Today, there were probably 15 things my brain was telling me I "should" be doing...but instead I took my blanket and my coffee outside and sat on the bench in my yard surrounded by my garden and the birds and watched the sunrise.  It was awesome.  Then I walked around the garden and inspected all of my beautiful seedlings that are just coming through the might not have been the most productive activity in terms of getting my to-do list done....but it definitely was productive in filling my soul with the beauty around me.

Be in love with your life...every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Komen Race For the Cure

Wolverine's mother lost her battle with Breast Cancer when she was just a few years old that I heart aches every day that I will never get the chance to meet the mother of the most amazing man I have ever met.

This October, I am doing my part.  I am donating 25% of my Premier Designs jewelry sales and my Honey Bee Bottoms sales to Komen Race for the Cure.   If you spend $100 on jewelry or diapers, I will give you a Courage bracelet as my thank you to you!
If you are interested in seeing a catalog for the jewelry or have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
Let's all do a little to make a BIG DIFFERENCE!

Thank you!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Meal Menu

Well...after we stopped getting the reclaimed produce boxes, we started getting weekly boxes of vegetables from a local co-op.  It was fun, but we decided that we could get a better bang for our buck if we just purchased it ourselves (or grew it!!)

I have been busy prepping and planting in the garden.  So far, we have carrots and beets growing strong, kale and swiss chard from summer plantings, as well as the green onions, lima beans, peppers, green beans, and okra from this summer.
So far this fall, we've planted more beets, radishes, peas, turnips, more kale, lettuce, more swiss chard, and spinach.

I planted a package of bok choy seeds...though they were definitely not bok choy.  It's some kind of lettuce...not sure what it is, so we just call it not-bok-choy. :)  It's actually a really nice and buttery lettuce. :)

So...I'm not sure if you saw my ridiculous pepper harvesting that I've been doing, but I've harvested 3 batches of peppers this large in September alone!  My freezer is filled with bags of peppers (not to mention all the fruit I froze over the summer, the corn, the kale I've been freezing, the beans that I make in huge batches, or the 27 bags of candy roaster pumpkin I have in there! :) ).

I was laying in bed this morning and I was craving Baked Beans! I told you I LOVE them. :)  So, that's dinner tonight.  Baked beans, potato wedges, and salad.

Yesterday I chopped up a ton of peppers to rotate through the freezer on cookie sheets to freeze before bagging.  I pulled out the bowl from the fridge this morning and I suddenly realized I should make Black Bean and Corn Salsa!  It would go great with the left over rice from yesterday's Red Beans and Rice.   Well, I threw it all together this morning, so now tomorrow's dinner is already done!
Then I was thinking about the huge container of spinach I bought on an impulse last week and the $1 mushroom containers I picked up also.  Then I thought - yeah, Lentil Loaf! :)  We love Rip's from My Beef With Meat.  So lentil loaf and roasted veggies sound perfect for Wednesday.  The lentil loaves taste even better when they are made a day or two in advance, so they are in the oven as I type this.  It smells amazing in here!!!  

Now I felt like I was on a roll so I was thinking about what to have the rest of the week, I'm going to try Fat Free Vegan's Mac and Cheese with a salad on Thursday.  I'm so excited about it!!

That brings us to Friday - which is our anniversary, so I'm thinking we'll go out to eat. :) If not, I think Pad Thai would be delicious.

Saturday will be left overs.
Sunday I think some Sweet Potato Chili that I have in the freezer sounds fantastic.  And that gets me through the week!!! :)

And dinners are actually made for every day except one - heck yes to free time in the fall to enjoy the beautiful weather with my Te-Man!!  :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Pot Wonder

Sometimes I want spaghetti, but not regular spaghetti - I used to make a dish in the oven called "fresh spaghetti" that I think of it, I haven't made that in a LONG time...I'll have to come up with a way to make it plant based and share it with you all! :)

Anyway, anything that cures my spaghetti craving while simultaneously curing my need for something different and tastes amazing and is met with noodle filled "mmmm"s and slurping - must be a winner! :)

And....wait for this only you One Pot! What?!  After the insane mess I usually make in the kitchen with every dish in my cabinet (i.e. Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers), one pot? That's fantastic!!!

One Pot Wonder
What's In It:
4 c vegetable broth
1 12-13oz box of spaghetti (or angel hair, fettucini, etc)
8 oz spinach, sliced (or swiss chard, kale, etc)
1 medium onion, diced
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes (do not drain)
4 cloves garlic
1 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano
1 t dried thyme
nutritional yeast (optional)

What To Do With It:
Add everything to the pot, break noodles in half and add them last.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium, remove lid, and boil 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast or your favorite spaghetti toppings. :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Did you wake up today thinking I NEED to find a better meatless burger recipe?  Te-Man just told me he did. :)  
Maybe you're looking for a veggie burger recipe and you didn't even know it. :)  

I was searching for a recipe that made me forget I wasn't eating a regular burger - or as close to that as I can get. This is hands down the best veggie burger I have ever made - and it's for that reason that I don't mind making ever dish in my house dirty to make them.  Well - I guess I mind a little, which is why I always double this recipe and freeze the burgers.  I get anywhere from 50-60 burgers from a double batch, so I don't make them very often, but we get to eat them whenever we want! :)

Now you have the burger...are you looking for something to pair it with?  How about these Oven Baked Beans


Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
What's In It:
2 c water
1 c quinoa
1 c whole wheat macaroni (uncooked)
2 c black beans (canned or cooked)
2 c red beans cooked
1 1/3 c bbq sauce
1 medium onion
1 t garlic, minced
2 t chili powder
1 t mustard powder
1/2 t hickory salt (or regular salt)
1/2 t pepper
2 c whole wheat bread crumbs

What To Do With It:
Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer  for 20 minutes.  Set aside when finished.
Meanwhile, in a seperate pot, boil the macaroni until over done.  Drain.
Using a food processor, process the macaroni until you can no longer see any whole noodles.  Add the beans, bbq sauce, seasonings, onion, and garlic.  Process until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the bean mixture, bread crumbs, and quinoa and mix well.
Shape into burgers and freeze or cook.

To cook, heat skillet over medium high heat and cook until browned on both sides and heated through. 3-5 minutes per side.   If using frozen burgers, be sure to thaw them before cooking.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oven Baked Beans

I LOVE beans and these baked beans are my all time favorite.

I can eat these for days on end.  Seriously.  I buy enough beans to make this at least 3 times a month and I definitely have the largest serving at dinner and then I eat them for lunch for at least the next two days.  And then I cry a little when the dish is empty. ;)

I LOVE these! You can play with the sweetness by adding less bbq sauce or maybe using a mustard or vinegar based bbq sauce.

Or leave them as is and savor every bite.

Bean Crock :)

Oven Baked Beans
What's In It:
28oz can Bush's Vegetarian Beans*
16 oz can chili beans
16 oz can kidney beans
1 c bbq sauce
1 c ketchup
1 bell pepper, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 T brown mustard
1 T onion powder

What To Do With It:
Mix together and bake in a 9x13 in pan at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

*Or your favorite baked beans