Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 9.30--10.6

Ready for another week of meals?  Here is what I will be making this week!

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Lasagna and garlic bread (I will make 2 and freeze one!)

Monday: Loaded baked potatoes, fruit

Tuesday: Homemade mac and cheese, fruit

Wednesday: Chicken and rice soup (In keeping with my weekly tradition I will make a recipe post on this). 

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: I'm not going to lie...we will probably be eating popcorn.  :)

Saturday:  Gone to a wedding.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

White Bean and Kale Soup

Are you tired of soup recipes yet?  :)  Sorry, but we eat a lot of homemade soup in the cooler months.  White bean and kale is another one of our favorites.  I'm sure you could Google a recipe and hundreds would come up.  I basically throw a bunch of stuff in a pot without measuring.  *LOL*  I tried to pay attention to my measurements just for you.  :)

 1lb ground chicken or turkey (you could also use sausage)
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots chopped (I failed to put these on my grocery list last week. :(
1 pint tomatoes (I used home canned, but you can use store bought)
1 can Great Northern Beans
1 can white kidney beans
chicken stock (I ran out, so I used Better Than Bouillon.   I keep this stuff on hand for "just in case" moments.)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown your meat.  Saute your veggies in EVOO.  Add your beans, stock, and seasonings.  Simmer on low for a few hours. You can cook it on a higher temp if you want it done sooner, or this is a great soup for the crockpot.  I love topping mine with a little Parmesan cheese. 

Viola!  This soup freezes well, is easy to make, and is HEALTHY!  If you don't have white beans you could make this with rice or potatoes.  We just love beans and all their nutritional properties. 

Let me know if you make this hearty soup!  It is perfect for fall and winter.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The MOST Important Part of My Day!

I consider this picture to be the MOST important thing I do everyday.  For years I knew something was "wrong" with me.  I went to the doctor several times and they would continue to tell me the same thing..."eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep".  I was so frustrated because I WAS doing those things!  I still felt horrible, had no energy, and couldn't lose weight.

Finally, in February I took matters into my own hands.  I went to a specialist and had a boat load of tests done.  Turns out I have PCOS, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.  That explains a lot!  I immediately decided I needed Shaklee's help, so I contacted Erin.  We talked and she hooked me up with the POWERFUL trio you see above.  Up until this point I was only using Shaklee's Get Clean products.  They are great, but I was missing out...BIG TIME! 

Everyday I have a Cinch Shake! These shakes are amazing and taste great.  ONE shake is $3 and has the same nutrients as eating $21.50 worth of food!  If I wanted to get healthy I knew I needed to fuel my body properly.  Cinch is the perfect way to do that.

Next, I take my Vitalizer for women.  I had never been great about taking vitamins...until Vitalizer entered my life.  I never miss a day now.  I feel so much better when I take Vitalizer.  This is why---->
  • Bone health—high in calcium and vitamins D and K
  • Breast health—with more vitamin D
  • Heart health—with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E
  • Immune health—high in vitamins C and D, plus zinc
  • Physical energy—high in all eight essential B vitamins
  • Reproductive health—high in folic acid, iron, and calcium
  • Digestive health—with probiotics
  • Healthy hair, skin, and nails—with vitamins A and C, plus biotin and omega-3 fatty acids

 Then comes my Vivix.  This stuff is amazing.  Vivix helps fight against the aging of your cells and will repair your DNA.  It is 10x more powerful than resveratrol alone!   

Two weeks ago I had my thyroid checked again and guess what?!  My levels are NORMAL!  I couldn't be happier.  I took matters into my own hands and looked to Shaklee for help.

If you suffer from thyroid problems, infertility, diabetes, arthritis, migraines, ect I HIGHLY recommend this powerful trio. 

Email me if you want more information on Shaklee nutrition and health. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Candle To Candy Dish...

This little girl may or may not have broken my candy dish recently....

She may look all innocent, but there IS a reason why we call her "Hurricane Olive".  Me being cheap and all, I decided to hit up Goodwill to find a new candy dish.  That was a joke!  I love Goodwill, but whenever I am looking for something specific I can never find it.  I bet if I went their tomorrow there would be 5 candy dishes for sale.  :/  Oh well, I got creative!

I love Slatkin and Co. candles, but they are expensive at $20 each full price!  I rarely buy them for full price.  Heck, I rarely buy them!  I generally just go to the BeanPod candle outlet.  A while ago I did decide to splurge a little on the Slatkin and Co. candles and got a few of them for 50% off.  $10 per candle is still steep in my book.  

I feel bad just throwing the candles away once they are burnt, so I decided to turn it into a candy dish.

 Step 1:  Get one used candle.  :)

 Step 2:  Put candle in the freezer overnight.  I think you might be able to get away with a few hours, but you want it so cold the remaining wax cracks.

Step 3:  Take a butter knife and pry the cracked pieces of wax out.  Once you get the first piece out the others come out really easily.

Step 4:  Wash candle in hot soapy water.  This will get the remaining wax particles out and the label off the front.  These candles have labels that come off really easily!

Step 5:  Even though I washed it by hand really well, it still smelled like candle.  I decided to put the jar and lid in the dishwasher.

Step 6: Take out of dishwasher and fill with your favorite candy!  I love how candy corn looks in jars. 

This is a really easy way to re-use something you would normally throw away.  You can use clean candle jars for so many supplies, cotton balls, hair ties, ect.  Use your imagination! 

This post has been linked up to Frugal Tuesday Tip HERE!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 9.23--9.29

Looks like it is Meal Plan Friday....again.  Some of you might be wondering why I do my meal plans on Friday.  Well, I generally do my grocery shopping then so I need my meal plan done.  By posting it before the weekend I am giving people an opportunity to copy it and get their groceries before the new week starts.  

My plan didn't go as smooth as I would have liked this last week.  We did end up having enough leftovers for two nights!  Then one night consisted of a frozen pizza my mom had given me.  Bad, I know.  Here is what I will be making this week.

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Grilled steak, baked potatoes, zucchini  

Monday: Spaghetti, garlic bread, corn

Tuesday: White bean and kale soup (I will share my recipe for this because we love it!  Basically, we love all soups. :))

Wednesday: Creamy Italian Chicken over pasta, steamed veggies.  This chicken is so good, but sooooo rich.  A little goes a long way! 

Thursday: Leftovers...I know there will be leftover soup.  Plus it is a really busy day, so leftovers will be good. 

Friday:  Cheese pizza.  I could write down salad, but I would be lying and just writing it to make myself look good.  :)   

Saturday: ???

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cleaning Your Sink...Naturally!

Can you tell I love to clean?  I should rephrase that...I LOVE a clean house.  I might not love cleaning all the time, but I love the end result.  

One part of a house I think people neglect to clean is their sinks.  My kitchen sink gets used a lot, so it can get pretty grungy fast.  Especially since it is "bone" colored.  Before Shaklee I would use Comet on it and I always had a nasty film afterwards.  I didn't know any better.  :(  

Now I have a SAFE and NATURAL way to clean my sinks!  Scour Off is amazing!  I love how fruity it smells and how easily it get my sink clean. 

Like all Shaklee products a little goes a long way!  One tub of Scour Off lasts me about 6 months and I use it all the time!  

I put some Scour Off on a rag/microfiber cloth.  Apply in circular motions.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Wash off in circular motions.  It really is that simple!

Check out how I clean my oven with Scour Off HERE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

White Chicken Chili

Are you ready for some severe deliciousness?!  Fall and winter months mean soup around here.  I love making homemade soup for a few reasons...

  1. It is delicious.
  2. I can control what is in it and the sodium.
  3. It is easy.
  4. I have leftovers to either freeze, or eat another night during the week.
  5. Soups are CHEAP to make!
Have you ever noticed how expensive soups are in restaurants?   I find it crazy that they charge about $3.50 for a cup of soup and nearly $5 for a bowl!  I can make a huge pot of soup for under $10 and mine tastes way better. 

One of our favorites is White Chicken Chili.  I don't have a specific recipe, but I tried to pay attention as I was making it.  You CAN'T mess soup up, so just play around with the spices until you get it how you like it. :)

Wendy's White Chicken Chili

In a large pot (I use my dutch oven) add 1T. EVOO and 1T. butter.  Let the butter melt and then add 1c. chopped celery and 1/2 a large onion.

Once the onions and celery start looking translucent add in one can of diced chili's.  I use mild or medium, but you can use whatever you want.  You can even add two cans if you want.  Then add in 1clove chopped garlic.

 After I give the chili's and garlic a quick stir I add in my chicken broth.  I used 5c. of homemade broth I had frozen.  I didn't have it thawed out, so I let it thaw in the pot.

 After my broth thawed I added 2 cups water (leave this out if you want a thicker chili).  Then I added a 48oz jar of Great Northern beans.  If you have dry beans you can use them.  Just soak them first and your cooking time will be longer.  Then I added 2 cups of shredded chicken.  I made a roasted chicken earlier that week, so mine was cooked.  You can use raw chicken if you plan on cooking it for a while.

Last, but not least...the seasoning!  Use whatever you want, but this is what we like.  Salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and about 1-2 teaspoon(s) chili powder.  

I like to cook mine on low for a few hours.  If you are pressed for time then cook it at a higher temperature.  This is also a great crockpot meal.  

There you have it...a delicious, hearty, healthy soup for a few dollars.  If I had to estimate I would say I spent probably $5-$6 making this. 


This post has been linked up to Frugal Tuesday Tip!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Veggie Wash

Do you know what scares me?  All of these food recalls!  It seems like every time I turn on the news a new fruit, or vegetable is being recalled for some nasty illness.  I think it is so important that people properly wash their produce and cook their meat properly.

Did you know that by running your produce under water isn't doing anything?  I actually had someone tell me they didn't need to wash their produce because it was organic!  Sick!  Think of all the hands touching it before you get it in your house.  People are harvesting it, packaging it, and grocery stores are putting it out for you to buy.  How many people touch that one apple before you buy it?  A lot and I'm pretty sure most of those people did not wash their hands.

I bet you will never guess what I use as an Organic Produce Wash.  I use Basic H2!!!  Yes, the same stuff that cleans my windows now washes my fruits and veggies.  

When I say this stuff is amazing and safe...I'm not joking!  I just fill my sink with some water.  Add 1/4 teaspoon under the water and wash my produce.  Then I rinse and dry them.  

The best part of using Basic H2 is the cost!  Would you rather spend $5 or $0.05?  I think that is a no brainer. 

If you are interested in getting your hands on this versatile cleaner PLEASE let me know! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 9.16--9.22

 Ack! Another week, another grocery trip.  I actually like grocery shopping.  I kind of find it therapeutic.  :)  Told you I was a nerd!  I'm just not loving that time is going so fast.  It is already the middle of September, but I LOVE fall.  I'm over these 90-100 degree days.  Bring on the sweatshirts, hot chocolate, and soups!  You will soon notice that in the fall/winter months I make homemade soup at least once a week.  We love soup!  Homemade is so nutritious, they are EASY to make, and we have leftovers.  :)

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Olive Garden's chicken gnocchi soup.  I will hands down claim this as my favorite soup! It is delicious and I think mine tastes better than O.G.'s.  Plus mine is a whole lot cheaper!

Monday: Meatloaf, boiled potatoes, veggie

Tuesday: Chicken and rice casserole, steamed carrots

Wednesday: Leftovers!  These above meals make a lot!

Thursday: Calico beans, fruit salad

Friday: Nachos (beans, lettuce, avocado, salsa, sour cream, taco meat, and cheese) . 

Saturday: ???

Let me know if there are any specific recipes you want blogged about next week! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giveaway Winners

Thanks to those who entered.  Your samples will be coming next week!  

I have already emailed Dara and

Cass Beck I need you to email me with your address!  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cleaning Your Front Loader

Do you clean your washer?  I never really used to when I had my old top loader.  It just never got really dirty.  I would wipe around where the lid sat, but that was about all.  About 5.5 years ago my old washer and dryer both decided to die at the same time.  I would have to run the dryer 3 and 4 times just to get our towels dry.  Let's just say that isn't very energy efficient.  My old top loader then decided it would die in the middle of the cycle.  It was so frustrating!  

That is when I decided it was time to go to the appliance store in my small town.  Some 5+ years ago there wasn't much choice on what styles and brands.  Plus I was at my SMALL towns store, but I like to keep business local.  That is when I found my Whirlpool Duets.  Let me tell you they have come down in price A LOT since I bought mine so many years ago.  

All in all I love my front loader.  I really do, but it gets gross!  I have learned a few tricks over the years to keep this from happening.  

1. I try to clean my washer every 4-6 weeks.  

I take the detergent tray out and let it soak in a sink with 1/4 teaspoon Basic H2.  This stuff is amazing and cleans basically everything in my house!

2.  I add 1 Tablespoon of Basic G to the bleach compartment and run my washer on the CLEAN cycle.  

3.  I leave the door open after I take the wet clothes out.  It grosses me out to have the door closed while it is damp inside.  Mold can grow in there!  I also make sure to wipe out the door seal on occasion, but since using Basic G on a regular basis I don't have to very often.  Basic G is not only a germicide, but also a FUNGICIDE! 

4.  I use Shaklee's Get Clean Laundry products!  These products are amazing.  My husband and I both have sensitive skin.  My husbands especially!  When I was in college I bought Era brand detergent once because it was on sale.  I got a horrible blotchy rash on my torso from it!  
My husbands skin is so sensitive I had to start making my own detergent because he would basically get a chemical burn on his chest/back from commercial detergents.  Shaklee's products are even more natural than the ones I was making!  The powder costs about the same as the powder version I was making and Shaklee's products are a time saver for me. I know from experience that Shaklee's powdered detergent lasts MONTHS!
I used to use bleach on our whites.  Not anymore!  Shaklee's Nature Bright is AMAZING.  I have even gotten melted butter out of shirts (don't ask ;)).  

Do you clean your washer?  I think it is important to maintain expensive items.  No one wants to waste money, so if you take care of your possessions then they will last longer.  

Don't forget to enter my Basic H2 giveaway HERE!

Wordless Wednesday

Got Milk?

This post is linked up with Wordless Wednesday!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jet Dry

Hey everyone!  

Go check out how I have eliminated Jet Dry from my house!

Also, don't forget to enter my Giveaway HERE!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Italian Chicken Veggie Bake

Do you like recipe blogs?  I love recipes blogs and getting new ideas for meals.  This recipe I'm going to show you has been all over Pinterest and I have seen it on YouTube.  It has easily become one of our favorite meals.  

1.  It is EASY to make.
2.  The prep is about 10 minutes.
3.  Easy clean up.
4.  It is freaking delicious! 

Italian Chicken Veggie Bake

 The beauty of this meal is that you can make it however you want!  I am going to share with you what I do, but feel free to change up the portions or veggies.  

Spray your pan with Pam lightly.  Chop up 3 potatoes (add however many you want), 1/2 head of cauliflower, 2 cups fresh green beans, and 3 chicken thighs.  

Roasted cauliflower is one of our favorite veggies, but you could add broccoli, just green beans, brussel sprouts, zucchini...basically whatever you have on hand.  If I am only adding one veggie I cut up about 5 potatoes.  

 After your chopped veggies and chicken are neatly arranged in your pan- melt one stick of butter. 

 Evenly spread butter and Italian seasoning packet all over your creation.  I tried making this with 1/2 a stick butter and it was good, but this is better.  :)  The butter and Italian seasoning meld together to make a wonderful "sauce" after it is cooked.

 Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  After 30 minutes uncover and let finish cooking 15-20 minutes.  Until veggies are tender, chicken is fully cooked, and veggies are a bit brown.

Next, serve up this wonderful meal that literally took you 10 minutes to prep.  I haven't tried it yet, but this would make a great freezer meal/make a head meal.  We absolutely love this because it so versatile and insanely good.  

Let me know if you try it! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meal Plan 9.9--9.15

It's hard to believe it is a new week again.  I am so ready for fall and all the wonderful foods associated with it.  I'm ready for some homemade apple pie!  I will be hitting up the apple orchard soon to get McIntosh and Honey Crisp.  And for the heck of it I will throw in a gallon of apple cider.  :)

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Take out--Turkey dinner at a local church.

Monday: Crockpot chicken and dumplings.  Doesn't this just scream fall!?!

Tuesday: Spaghetti and garlic bread

Wednesday: Egg bake and fruit

Thursday: Leftovers!  I'm assuming we will have them.  If we don't then I will make something edible.  :) 

Friday: Homemade pizza (grilled)

Saturday: ???

Friday, September 7, 2012

The 411 On Meal Planning

I LOVE meal planning.  Why?  Because it saves me time and money.  I may love to cook, but time just does not allow me to spend hours in the kitchen.  I have other things that need to be done like running my business, taking care of my home, and thousands of other things go along with that.  

Meal planning does not have to be a daunting task.  What works for me might not work for you.  All you need to do is follow my tips and use them in a way that best fits with your family.  Pretty simple.

  1. Be organized.  This may seem like common sense, but if your not organized you will not know what food is in your house.  Make sure your pantry, fridge, and freezer are all organized.  I like being able to open my pantry and seeing everything I have on hand.  Makes meal planning a breeze.  
  2. Keep staples on hand.  If your family loves spaghetti make sure you always have noodles and sauce on hand.  This way you will always have a quick "go to" meal. 
  3. Cook once, eat multiple times.  My favorite thing to do is make a crockpot rotisserie chicken during the beginning of the week.  Then I have leftover chicken to make other meals with.  Half of my work is done for me.  This is also great for lasagna, casseroles, and soups.  If you are making one, you might as well make 2 or 3.  Then you have your very own convenience food ready to go in your freezer.   Those store bought entrees are gross, filled with preservatives, and high in calories.  
  4. Become friends with your Crockpot.  I think Crockpots are so under rated.  These things preform magic in the kitchen.  They are perfect for any busy family.  I love getting my crockpot meal ready the night before, put the insert in the fridge, and turn it on in the morning.  I leave the house early some mornings and don't want to waste time prepping my food.  Do it the night before!  
  5. Base your grocery list off your meal plan.  I like having my meal plan right along side my grocery list.  I just jot it down on my list, so I can reference it and make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  
  6. Have a central command center.  It is really helpful if you post your meal plan where the entire family can see it.  The fridge is a perfect spot for this, or you can steal my picture frame idea.  This way you are sure to set out meat the night before, or prep a certain item the night before.  It just saves time.  Plus you won't have you kids (and husband) asking you what's for supper every day.  They can just look at the list.  
  7. Don't be a short order cook.  Some people might enjoy this, but not me.  I don't have time to make two separate meals.  I make sure I plan meals everyone will like.  If I'm trying a new recipe and we don't like it then that is what PB&J is for.  :)   Making one meal saves you both time and money.
  8. Set a grocery budget.  We don't have a set budget, but I know generally how much we will be spending each week/month at the grocery store, butcher, and Sam's Club.  It is like a game to me!  Plus it keeps me from purchasing a bunch of junk we don't need. 
  9. Allow one splurge item.  This might not go directly with meal planning, but I think it is important.  When you are grocery shopping allow yourself one item that isn't on your list.  I will be honest...this week I had three items.  But knowing I have one item to splurge on keeps me from going down every isle and filling my cart.  Once I put my item in the cart that is it.  I must now stick to my list the rest of the trip.  (i.e. a package of cookies, a cake mix, brownies)  
$5 frame + Scrapbook paper + Wet Erase Marker = Meal Planning command center!
There you have it.  Those are my tips for successful meal planning.  Let me know if you do anything different.  Like I said this might not work for you, but find out what does.  I have been meal planning for years and it has changed my life.  I am a person that needs to be organized, or my entire day is off.  Pondering what to make at 5pm is not being organized.  I like a game plan. ;)

Be sure to check out my current giveaway HERE!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Basic H2 Giveaway! {CLOSED}

How would you like to clean your home with a SAFE and NATURAL product?  Fall cleaning is just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to give Basic H2 a try.  This product cleans everything in my house...even my dogs!  Where else can you find a product that safe and natural?  

Image Source
Basic H2 is super concentrated, so you are ensured to get the most bang for your buck.  A lot of people think they can get their best deals at the Dollar Store.  That isn't the case with Basic H2.

Look at that savings!  I dare you to find anything that natural at the Dollar Store for only a few pennies.  

Do you feel comfortable letting your children clean with your current cleaner?  I want to change as many lives as I can.  What better place to start then with your cleaner?  

I want to give FIVE Basic H2 samples to you guys!  You might be thinking "What the heck can that little thing do?"  Well, that little sample makes TWO 16 oz bottles of cleaner (window and all purpose).  That is A LOT of cleaning power!

To enter is simple.  Complete ALL 3 of these tasks and you are entered
  1. Follow me on my blog, Blissful Firefly Lane.
  2. LIKE my face book page.
  3. Look around my Shaklee store and leave a comment here telling me what product(s) you would love to try. 
The giveaway will close in one week (Sept. 13th at 6pm CST).  You must leave an email address for me to contact you.  If you don't want to leave it in the comments section please e-mail me at

This Giveaway has been linked up at Getting Freedom From Debt!  Go check out other get giveaways!

Decorating With Jars

Can I let you in on a little secret?  I'm cheap!  I don't like spending a lot of money on decorating my house.  I like to shop garage sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, and retail sales.  I rarely pay full price on an item that is going to be decorating my house.

I think all of this stemmed in college.  I was finally on my own, had my own place, and wanted it decorated cute.  I prided myself on the fact that my apartments never looked like your typical college pad.  I didn't have beer cans lining my living room.  I didn't have neon beer signs in my bed room.  I didn't own a bean bag chair.  You get the point. 

Instead I had nice furniture, curtains, a wine chiller, a kitchen table with a cute center piece, flower pots on my balconies, and cute nick knacks.  I wanted my apartments to always have a cozy vibe about them.  I found it funny when the maintenance men would come in and say "Are you sure you're in college?"  It made me feel good that I was able to pull off that vibe on a VERY limited budget.

Today my budget has changed, but I still like to "decorate on the cheap".  The easiest way I have found to do this is by using jars.  I LOVE JARS!  They are so inexpensive and you might even have some in your possession right now. 

 After my grandmother passed away I found those two large jars in the back of her basement.  While I was searching I also found a box of wooden thread spools.  My grandmother saved everything!  I took the jars home and cleaned them up.  I decided to put the wooden spools in them and I made some origami stars out of scrapbook paper.  This project cost me $0 and I have something of my grandma's.

I found those rustic jar lids at a craft store for $5 each.  I bought two and put them on some Ball jars I had.  They were kind of a splurge (for me) at $5 each, but they are so cute! Those yarn balls were at Goodwill and came to a whopping dollar.  Add some fabric and you have a cheap decorative jar.  Can you imagine how much something like that would be at a craft fair?  I'm guessing at least $20 each. 

I found both of these jars at a thrift store for basically nothing.  I added my grandma's wooden beads to the larger jar for a very inexpensive way to showcase something you normally wouldn't.  The smaller jar was purchased for $2 with the buttons already in it!  I thought it was cute and went in my house, so I left them in there.

I'm convinced you can put anything in a jar and it will be cute.  Jars are a wonderful way to showcase your pantry, office supplies, school supplies, cotton balls, Q-tips, ect.  You name it, you can find a jar for it.  I love the idea that you can showcase what you already own.  There is no need to go out and spend thousands of dollars decorating your home because one man's junk truly is another man's (or woman's) treasure.  

Do you decorate with jars?  I want to know! 

This post has been linked up with Frugal Tuesday Tip!  

Don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Olive Oyl talking to her boyfriend.

This post is linked up to Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paleo Stuffed Peppers

Do you currently have peppers coming out of your ears?  Garden produce is in full swing, so this is the perfect time to stock up on peppers of all colors and varieties.  Peppers actually freeze REALLY well!  I just wash them in my Basic H2 veggie wash (just add 1/4 teaspoon in a shallow sink of water), let them dry, cut the tops off, and clean out the seeds.  This is the PERFECT method for stuffed peppers throughout the year.  Otherwise, you can dice them up and freeze them too.  Both ways work great.  Definitely take advantage of any free peppers you might get.  If you can't get them for free stock up at your local farmers market. 

My husband LOVES stuffed peppers.  I am not joking when I say he could eat them every week.  Me, not so much.  I don't mind them, but I do not have a deep love for them like he does.  :)  For several months we were eating a Paleo diet.  We still do to a certain extent and I want to get us back to eating mostly Paleo in the upcoming weeks.  We feel better and have more energy when we do!

When searching for Paleo recipes I came across Paleo Parents and their recipe for stuffed peppers.  I think my husband wanted to marry me all over again, or he might of wanted to marry his plate.  This is still TBD!

Doesn't that just look good?  

6 large bell peppers, tops, seeds and ribs removed
2 Tbsp lard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground red meat (I often use venison, but beef or lamb would also work)
1 C cauliflower, ground or mashed or pulsed into rice sized bits
1 13.5oz canned diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 cup fresh tomato, diced)
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (or, alternatively, 1 tsp each dried basil, parsley and oregano)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 C tomato sauce

  1. ♥ A little trick: Stand your peppers up in a muffin tin. Trying to even the bottoms with a knife will often lead to leaks, but the muffin tin will hold them up without altering the pepper.
  2. Melt lard over medium high heat in a large skillet
  3. Saute onions and garlic for three minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add ground meat and stir to brown, about 5 minutes
  5. Add raw ground cauliflower and diced tomato, stir for about 10 minutes to cook off liquid
  6. Add salt, pepper and seasonings, stir to incorporate
  7. ♥ Stuff each pepper to the top of each pepper, spread tomato sauce on top of that
    You will likely have leftover meat, don’t worry – it makes a great pre or post-dinner snack!
  8. Bake the peppers for one hour at 350 degrees until pepper is fork-tender
  9. Serve with extra tomato sauce!
These make great leftovers for lunches the next day!  If you are interested in more Paleo recipes you should check out Paleo Parents.  They have some great meal ideas.  

Toss It ALL In!!!

Do you ever look in your fridge at the end of the week and think "why do I have so much produce left?"  If so, then this post is for you.  I try to stick to our meal plan, but there are times when it just doesn't happen.  Take tonight for example, my mom offered to cook.  Well, that means what I currently have on our meal plan will either be moved or not eaten this week.  That can leave some left over produce in our fridge.

My solution to this...because I HATE wasting food...STIR FRY!  I throw everything in a stir fry and it turns out delicious each and every time.  It is healthy, fast, and can be cheap.  Think stir fry the next time you are given free veggies from a neighbor or relative.  

Doesn't that look healthy and delicious!?!  I also have a little trick to make your stir fry even cheaper.  We love HuHot and their noodles taste great.  I used to buy the Asian noodles at the grocery store, but they were $3-$4 a package.  My $0.10 package of Ramen Noodles.  I cook the noodles and toss the salt package that comes with them.  NO ONE needs that much salt!  I;m sure there are other ways you could use the salt packet, so let me know what you do with it.  

The cooked Ramen noodles taste just as good as the expensive packs you can buy in the Asian section of your grocery store.  Plus they are a whole lot cheaper.  Now I'm not a huge fan of eating processed food, but we aren't huge rice eaters with our stir fry.  I would rather cook a $.10 pack of Ramen and enjoy my meal vs. wasting the stir fry.  This is also a great alternative to eating at an expensive Chinese restaurant.  Make it yourself and save $$$$.