Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top 10!

1. We had a fun weekend in Delphos for Ryan's 15 year high school reunion! Ryan had a great time seeing friends who live far away...and Hayes had fun chillin' with Uncle Scott.

2. I think the people of Centerville have caught on to my obsession with tuna steaks. Kroger was fresh out of them today! Bummer.

3. I just finished an amazing trilogy of books. I need some new book recommendations so I will stop re-reading these over and over...

4. I liked my neon pink shirt so much, I went a bought a neon green one.

5. I'm having a hard time thinking of Top 10 tidbits. I blame it on the books mentioned in #3.

6. My current favorite song....Rescue Blues by Ryan Adams. I can't get it out of my head, and I am totally ok with that.

7. Ryan, here are some gift ideas for Mother's Day and/or my birthday: a "hayes" necklace and a kindle fire. Just wanted to write it down so you won't forget;)

8. Kitchen update plans are under way! This week we will be ordering our new tiles for the floor and our new oven!

9. My fun new recipe this week....cheesy cauliflower potatoes! I hope they taste amazing!

10. Pray for safe travels for all this week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad

This salad was delicious! It has a nice light, fresh flavor which makes it perfect for this time of year. Thanks to Two Blue Lemons for the inspiration. I altered the measurements from the original a little to fit what I had in my pantry.

{Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad}

olive oil
1/2 lb orzo
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 lb shrimp, peeled
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3/4 pound good feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted kosher salt
black pepper

Are you ready for this orzo party? Preheat your oven to 400.

Cook orzo according to package directions. The original recipe calls for 3/4 lb or orzo, but I just used half of the package. This leaves another serving in my pantry for me to make it again next week! Mix together lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Once orzo is cooked and drained, stir in lemon juice mixture and set aside.

Toss shrimp in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast in over for about 10 minutes. You can also toast your pine nuts in a small skillet sprayed with cooking spray on the stove while your orzo and shrimp are cooking.

Once everything is chopped, cooked, roasted, and toasted, it's time to combine. Add your shrimp to the orzo and stir in green onions, dill, cucumber, red onion, feta, and pine nuts. You can add more salt and pepper if you want. Let the flavors mix and mingle for about an hour before you eat it...or just slowly eat bites over that hour and then fix yourself a bowl because you can't beat that temptation sitting in your kitchen.

This salad tastes good cold, warm, and at room temperature. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sweet Potato Tacos

Oh Two Blue I love you. I especially love your Sweet Potato Tacos. This healthy dinner is soooo good! I love finding ways to cook sweet potatoes so that they don't really taste like sweet potatoes.... I know they are good for me, I just don't love the taste. This meal was easy to prepare, easy to assemble, and really easy to eat;)

{Sweet Potato Tacos}

*I altered this recipe so that it was just enough for Ryan, Hayes, and I for one night

1 sweet potato, cut into small chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup spinach, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
cheese (we used feta crumbles leftover from another dish)
chipotle chili pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil
corn tortillas

That ingredient list looks long....but most of it is probably already in your kitchen! Cut your sweet potato into small chunks. The size really depends on your preference. Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven at 425 for 35-40 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat some oil in a small saucepan. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, and seasonings. Cook until onions are tender. Add in black beans and cook until heated. Mash beans slightly.

Chop up your spinach, cilantro, and avocado. Spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat corn tortillas in skillet and keep covered until you are ready to assemble.

Fill your taco in whichever order you prefer! I am very methodical with my taco assembly. I start with beans, then add sweet potatoes. I top with my greens, avocados, and cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Top 10!

1. Hayes got a fun basket of goodies from the Easter bunny! His loot included a Scentsy buddy (which smells like clean cotton and I love it!), new big boy bibs, new washcloths, and stuffed peeps. I love a practical Easter bunny;)

2. Hayes looked so handsome in his Easter outfit. When the camera came out, he refused to have anything to do with his Easter basket. It was all about his basketball. He looks like a crazy basketball coach in most of his Easter pictures. Oh well. Can't plan everything, right?

3. I made a delicious Roasted Shrimp and Orzo salad today to eat later in the week. Of course I tasted it. And it is amazing. Compliments of Two Blue Lemons! I'll post the recipe later this week!

4. In the oven right now, spinach lasagna rolls. Yum!

5. I took my sister-in-law's fashion advice and bought something in a bright color. A shirt in neon pink to be exact. I love it! It makes me feel bright....probably because I am:)

6. I am itching for a project. On the docket, replacing the floor in the kitchen and dining room, and painting the guest bedroom. Our guest bedroom is the same drab yellow that it was when we moved in, and I hate it. My plan has always been gray....just need to figure out what shade of gray!

7. Fantasy baseball season has started. Yay.

8. #7 is full of sarcasm.

9. I think Hayes needs a haircut. His hair is getting a little unruly in the back and around his ears. Am I ready for his first haircut? I don't know...

10. Thanks to God for everything He has done for us! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blog Spotlight

It has been way too long since I have done one of these, but... I have recently been super inspired by a blog and I must share it with all of you!

Two Blue Lemons has become a source of recipes and inspiration in my attempt to change the way my family eats. Sarah has so many amazing recipes on her blog. The garbanzo burgers and quinoa-black bean burgers I recently posted about came from her.

Sarah has had training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her passions include holistic nutrition, health coaching, and the importance of preventive care.

Ryan recently told me I was turning into a "dirty hippie" after I planned a week of food with no meats. He had to take back the "dirty" because I shower regularly. And I am not sure of the definition of a "hippie," but I am fairly sure one would not shop at Baby Gap regularly. However, if being a hippie means picking the healthiest meals for myself and my family, then I will gladly be a hippie. And since Ryan eats my food without complaining, he is one too:)

"Healthy eating" is something that I have never had a clear definition of...being from the south and all. Healthy means 1 stick of light butter instead of regular butter, right? Now, I was not raised in a house of Paula Deen meals every night, but the food culture is just so different in the south. The more rich and decadent, the better. Everything is centered around food...with lots and lots of butter. Is there a place where the food culture is truly healthy? I don't even know that a place like that exists... I have been learning so much about good carbs vs bad carbs, cooking with grains, and healthy alternatives to down home favorites. I got real tired of grilled chicken and steamed veggies fast. Blogs like Sarah's are helping me take my healthy cooking to the next level and I love it! So does Hayes. And Ryan, even if he won't admit it right away. He has to give me a hard time about the drastic increase in beans we ate this past week...

Check out Two Blue Lemons! She makes cooking healthy seem so easy and tasty!

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers!

These burgers.....AMAZING. Seriously. Ryan loved them. Hayes devoured them. The baby-sitter even liked them:) Here is the original blog I found the recipe on.

{Black Bean Quinoa Burgers}

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
olive oil

Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add quinoa and toast for a few minutes. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is done.

In a big bowl, mix black beans, cooked quinoa, bread crumbs. tomato paste, onion, garlic, and seasonings. I used my hands so that I could really get everything mixed together. I also wanted the black beans smashed a little so that they would help hold the patties together.

Divide the mixture into 4 patties. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add you patties and cook on each side until browned and crispy.

You could eat these on burger buns...or go bunless for a low carb meal. We topped ours with some honey mustard sauce that I whipped up while the patties were cooking. Avocados would probably also taste good with these. I made roasted cauliflower as a side dish. Is there a vegetable you can't roast? I am kinda obsessed with roasting everything in the veggie drawer in our fridge these days.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Garbanzo Burgers!

I found this recipe on Two Blue Lemons. It seemed to coincide well with my current garbanzo bean obsession, so I decided to give it a try. We were not disappointed! They were easy to make and cooked fast. And of course, they are tasty:) The texture is definitely different than a's more like a dense cornbread. Try these soon!

{Garbanzo Burgers}

2 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked
4 eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup sprouts, chopped
lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 avocado

Put garbanzo beans, eggs, and salt in a food processor and puree. I had to do this in two batches because I have a smaller food processor. Garbanzo bean mixture will be thick. Combine in a bowl with onion, cilantro, bread crumbs, sprouts, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Allow to sit for a few minutes before forming patties. This would be a good time to chop some veggies and throw them in the oven to roast.

Form mixture into patties. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place half of the patties in the skillet. Cook until brown and crisp, then flip.

Top your garbanzo burger with sour cream...or if you are really adventurous, chipotle mayo. Pile on avocado slices and sprouts if desired. Enjoy!

24-Day Challenge Wrap Up!

And the 24 day challenge is done! Final numbers are....

Weight lost: 6 lbs!
Inches lost: 13.5!

I must admit, I did not follow it as strictly as I could have. The last week, I did not use the meal replacement shakes, but I was eating healthy meals all the time. I also slacked off a little on exercising...thanks Hunger Games. I am still so happy with my results.

This program has really helped kick start a new way of life for our family. Our eating habits are so much healthier (most of the time). We are also exercising on a more regular basis. I am glad we are making these changes now while Hayes is still tiny. I want him to grow up with a great example for healthy eating and exercise.

I am excited to see where this new lifestyle takes us! Coming up later...a fun, healthy recipe for garbanzo burgers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Black Bean Tacos!

I found this tasty recipe on Pinterest and couldn't resist! The recipe comes from this blog.

{Black Bean Tacos}

2 cans black beans, drained
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
olive oil
2 cups slaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp mayo (optional)
feta crumbles
corn torillas
salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

Start by mixing your slaw. Combine slaw mix with cliantro and green onions. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir into slaw. Add mayo if you want a creamy slaw. Put in fridge until you are ready to assemble.

Heat some oil in a large skillet for the beans. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender. Add beans. Mash beans slightly (I used a potato masher). Cook until warm

Now you are ready to assemble! Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-fat cooking spray. Spread out a few corn tortillas. Spread black bean mixture on half of tortilla. Top with slaw and some feta. Fold tortilla in half and place in hot skillet. Cook for a few minutes on each side until crispy. Eat up!

These are delicious! I didn't get a picture of ours, but I got a pic of the cut up version for Hayes (minus the feta).

He loves fruit. It is always eaten first.

He was kinda excited about this foreign new food on his plate...

until he dug in. Not so sure about this, mom.

Turns out Hayes thought it was pretty good too;) He cleaned his plate!

We ate these with roasted brussels sprouts. Have I shared that recipe yet? Chop brussels sprouts to desired size. Toss in olive oil. We added mushrooms. Season with whatever tickles your fancy. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

A few of my favorite things...

Time to share a few of my favorite things!

It is no secret that I love Baby Gap. I recently ordered these play shorts for Hayes. I love the stripes!

Hayes loves his v-neck t's. He told me so. So I ordered him a few more.

I love the material of these shirts and the way they fit. And, I love how they make him look like a very tiny college boy:)

I found this super cool tunnel at Target. Hayes loves it! He loves it so much, that he got one for his best friend, Brendan. We hope Brendan loves it too!

Ryan got this beautiful swing for his birthday. It is our new favorite place to hang out in this gorgeous weather. We couldn't find any locally, but Ryan actually found this one on Amazon!

I love love love this tree in our backyard. I have no idea what kind it is and the blooms never last long, but it is so pretty for a few weeks a year.

I just got this new top for working out. It is really lightweight and comfy for running...or getting ripped by Jillian. Thanks, Gap!

My tiny twig necklace came from Lisa Leonard Designs. It looks great with a casual tee or a fun sundress!

My 3 most favorite things in the whole world...Ryan, Hayes, and baby bedhead.

What are a few of your favorite things?