Plant-based Meal Planning for Beginners: 10 Easy Steps

When I first stared to transition my diet to being more plant based, I admit, I felt a little lost. It seemed daunting! I was so used to choosing a meat and a couple side dishes to go with it. But without meat, where do I even begin? Overtime I have found staple recipes that are easy to whip up and that my family loves. But cooking a whole foods, plant-based diet is sometimes more time consuming than the standard american diet because I’m often making more from scratch than I would have in the past.

I am about 6 years into my plant-based journey and recently started efficiently meal planning. I had never really found a successful way to meal plan before, and the way I have figured out how to do it now is much more efficient. Keep in mind, this is just one way to do it and this is what works best for me! There may be something totally different that works for you, and that’s OK! I love to meal plan Saturday, shop and prep Sunday, and begin Sunday night.

Here are the basics of how I meal plan for the week:

Step 1.  Clean out anything old and expired from your fridge

NO ONE likes a dirty fridge. Go through and toss anything expired, older than you remember, and get rid of junk! After that, give it a quick wipe down. I promise you that you’ll feel so good afterwards! Oh, and yes, I did say TOSS the junk! Even if said junk is good, toss it. Your health is more important! Here’s a list of common food additives to avoid if you need some inspiration:  Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

Step 2. Take inventory and organize your fridge 

I have found that I am so much more willing to prep food for the week and store it in the fridge if my fridge is clean and ready to go. In the past, I found that a disorganized fridge was really frustrating to maneuver throughout the week. However, a clean and organized fridge is so much more inviting and once you have shopped and prepped your food, it’s fun to put it in your fresh fridge! Think that’s loony tunes? Try it. Then come chat!

Step 3: Consult your calendar and figure out which days you’ll need to make dinner, which would be better for a leftovers night, and which you’ll eat out 

This was my area of downfall. I am a spontaneous (and ADD) mother who – is that a squirrel? – you get the point. Planning ahead and foresight are NOT my strong suits! I have to make an effort to make my life run even somewhat smoothly and for me a tangible way to do this is getting my calendar involved with the meal plan. This one is probably a “Duh” moment for most people, but there was a time I planned Lasagna for a night I had an outing to go to and instead I was left scrambling for something faster, so, I thought I’d better mention it. Now, I consult my calendar! For example: this coming week I have a bible study on Tuesday night, so Monday night I planned to make Lasagna! Lasagna is the perfect day before meal to make because the leftovers the next day are JUST as delicious. So the night of bible study I’ll just have to warm up some dinner and we’re good to go!

Step 4. Recipe choosing tips: Choose recipes revolving around what you already have, recipes that make sense, recipes that you can easily make extra of, and recipes that have shared ingredients  

This is something else that didn’t come naturally to me. I originally just started finding recipes that sounded good without taking much else into consideration. Now, I take inventory and see what main ingredients I have and go recipe hunting based off of that! This is a money saver to use what you already have. I also tend to try and make recipes that make good leftovers. We like to eat leftovers for lunches, and sometimes dinner the next night. It’s an easy way to make sure you’re eating well with doing less cooking.

Step 5. Adopt the “make it once, use it twice!” motto and have fun!

Another time saving trick I love to do is my “make it once, use it twice” motto. One example of how I do this is on my prepping day, I’ll make a salad dressing I can use throughout the week. Another way is my cashew cream sauce. I love cashew cream and I make so many things with it! I start by making cashew sour cream and I store it in the fridge. I use it as a topping for multiple meals, I add it to lentil noodles with almond milk & nutritional yeast for my toddler, I’ve added it to marinara to make creamy vodka sauce, and I’ve even made it into a cool ranch dip by adding herbs and garlic. Soak the nuts once, make the cream once, and use it twice (or more times)!

Step 6. Create a master grocery list of items you’re missing from each recipe

Go through the recipes one by one and write out which items you don’t have, take that to the store and you’ll have what you need for the week! I tend to write the groceries into categories of the store, so when I go to the store, I can be efficient and get all the produce, then dry good, etc and my list is more visually organized.

Step 7. Go grocery shopping

Go, go go! Don’t forget to have fun. You might be buying some brand new ingredients! Congratulations on taking this step to taking better control of your overall wellness.

Step 8. Come home and organize your fridge so during the week, things are easy to find. 

Unload and organize your fridge. Make it presentable, it doesn’t need to be rocket science, but having a good looking and highly functional fridge will be super helpful to your motivation & success throughout the week.

Step 9. Prep as much ahead of time as you can

I love to prep ahead of time. Look at your recipes and see if there are any veggies or fruit you could wash and store ahead of time. What would make your life easier in the long run? One thing I always try to prep are my greens. I have found that I am WAY more likely to eat more greens if they’re already washed and ready for me to eat. I love to wash my romaine lettuce and kale, dry in a salad spinner, and store in a freezer bag. I also do this with my cilantro! Did you know that cilantro is one of those herbs that goes bad in the blink of an eye? You can prolong it’s life by simply rinsing it thoroughly, wrapping in a paper towel, and sticking that inside a freezer bag in your fridge. Mine lasts up to two weeks this way beautifully.

Step 10. Set reminders for yourself if you need to do any day before prep

I am useless without lists and reminders. I have recently began utilizing alarms and reminders in my phone more often lately and I love it! I’ve become so much more efficient. Some ideas on how to use alarms and reminders to help your meal plan be a success would be: Look at your recipes, set alarms on your phone for each day to start cooking. How long will each recipe take you? Set an alarm for when you should start cooking based off of what time you want dinner on the table. Another recommendation, look at the recipes and make sure any day before prep is done and set an alarm for that if you need to! For example, some of my recipes call for soaking cashews ahead of time. I love to soak them overnight in the fridge to make super creamy sour cream! So I love to set an alert for the day before to make sure my cashews get soaked.

You can do this!! 

I know it might seem like a lot, but it’s pretty simple! A little planning ahead can make everything run so much more smoothly during the week. Also, I am sure that most of you aren’t nearly as scatter brained as I can tend to be so you may not need the reminders and alarms like I do, and that’s awesome!! Skip over those steps. This is to make your life easier, so do what works best for your family. If you’re just starting out, you can try this plan or another one and then adjust to your needs as time goes on. Either way, happy meal planning and I am so excited for you embarking on this journey toward better health!

 

How to Live Clean in a Dirty World

It can be pretty overwhelming to live in 2017 with all the worrisome articles swirling the internet suggesting cancer is around every corner. Whenever I chat with my grandparents it seems as though I am always hearing some story like, “When your mom was a kid there were no seat belts and she lived.” Then there’s the ever popular “We drank from the garden hose and we’re fine!” Oh, and this! “There were no restrictions on pregnant women back in my day.”

These things may have been true. But what’s also true is modern science and modern medicine.

As time goes on, more and more research is conducted. Studies are done. New scientific evidence is being discovered and learned constantly. What was once true, is able to evolve into a different story. As science and medicine evolve with time, so must we.

Conflicting information on the internet is just as prevalent as man buns right now. Both need to knock it off, though. I digress, I lament with those who may feel overwhelmed to the point of inaction with the plethora of information (and misinformation) at our fingertips.

In our family we’ve slowly over time cut out as many toxins as we can. It is not going to happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged if it seems like a massive undertaking to detoxify your life. First we made the switch to buying more organic food. Next we have been making the switch to being more natural and plant-based in all other products we buy. First it was soap. Now, we’ve transferred our purchases to eliminating as many toxic products as we can! We call this over time switch”transfer buying”.

My encouragement to those who feel overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible undertaking of creating a non-toxic home environment would be to do it in stages. Take a year to do it, even. Focus on one area each month if you have to. For example, you could first remove all items of food in your home that contain harmful additives. Next month, you could look at your soaps, make up, or toothpaste and switch those out, and so on. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it WILL be worth while!

There are so many amazing resources out there to help you decide which ingredients to cut out and why. The Environmental Working Group’s website and the app “Think Dirty”, are two of my go-to resources to check ingredients.

You guys, IF YOU CAN’T PRONOUNCE AN INGREDIENT, you probably shouldn’t be using it! At the very least, look up the ingredients on the Environmental Working Group’s site, or the “Think Dirty” app, or even just a simple google search.

It is possible to make your family’s home environment more safe, and it’s so worth the effort especially if you have children in the house. Children deserve to grow  up without harmful chemicals bombarding their systems and wrecking havoc on their development. If you’re not sure about toxins affecting child development, research it. There is a lot of information out there to suggest that environment and what they’re exposed to has a lot to do with their development.

Here are a couple articles that talk about common food additives and harsh household chemicals to stay away from:

Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

Toxic Household Products You Should Throw Away

Dirty Dozen – Cosmetics

10 Harmful Chemicals to Avoid

Dirty Dozen – Produce to ALWAYS Buy Organic

If you need help or want some ideas on how to start creating a healthier home environment, please contact me. I’ve been on a mission to create a healthier home for my family for several years now and I have gained a lot of experience in the most effective ways to do it. I would love to help!

 

Live Free, Love Others, Be Fruitful

Learning to be Bold & Brave

Galatians 5 – Christ Has Set Us Free! (ESV)

“For freedom in Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

I’m about to get really honest with you all right now. Writing is my chosen form of therapy, after all.

One of the themes of my adult life that I strive for has been to live freely in Christ. Along with Jesus up on that cross also went MY sins. There is no reason for me to live in the shadow of sin so long as I am in Christ. Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.

Fear. It’s a crippling thing, really. It’s handicapped a lot of my adult life, in fact. Most people who know me probably wouldn’t guess that, though. I’m relatively outgoing, outspoken, and yet introverted all at the same time. If I had to guess the reason for fear & anxiety it would be some mixture of dealing with a parent with addiction, loss of a parent, loss of loved ones in general, low self-esteem, to name a few. I’ve had multiple chances to do well with various endeavors yet either failed to fly, wouldn’t jump, or self sabotaged. I’ve spent a lot of time healing and learning healthier coping mechanisms. F.E.A.R. It’s crippling. I wasn’t willing to bet on myself for too long.

Fear of failure can debilitate you, like it did me. When I commit to something, I am usually all in and going to try my hardest to perfect it. Yet for so many years, I battled fear and anxiety. This is why the idea of “living freely” in Christ has meant so much to me. Jesus knows me, he loves me, and he cares for me. He died so that I may have a life worth living.

Obviously, I haven’t conquered all my fears. I am still humbly asking for God’s guidance with this daily, and probably always will. I write this from a place of humility, wanting to walk alongside others struggling, too. But God is SO GOOD and so lovingly reminds me to “live freely”, on occasions when I need it most. A Pastor will give a sermon about it, I’ll hear a song on the radio, or like today, when I really needed it, I’ll be led to read Galatians 5. “Christ has set us Free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Here, it talks about legalism going on in that time in history and how Christ has freed them from the laws to prove their faith. Instead, all we need to do is believe and trust in Jesus as our Savior to be saved. Today, these verses tell me to be free from my sin, fear, and anxiety to trust that God will lead me well if I let him. Jesus has set me free and I can feel safe being bold and brave so long as I am walking hand in hand with Christ, being led by the Spirit.

“What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” Galatians 5:6

As I keep walking as Christian, a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a woman, I pray that I have the strength in Christ to drive out fear and live boldly!

Jesus has changed my life and the idea of living freely in Christ means I will be betting on myself again. I’ll be betting on my success because Jesus CAN and will heal my tendency toward fear and anxiety. I want to be a shining example of strength for my daughter.

This year I will be jumping OUT of my comfort zone, in faith, that God will help land me on my feet. What are you doing to get out of your comfort zone and what is your source of strength? I would love to hear about your journey, too. Please leave a comment or send me a message about it. God bless!

Love others, be free. 

 

 

 

Grateful for All of It

It was 5:15am. Which is astronomically early for a stay at home mom who is frequently woken up by a nursing baby in the night. Let that all soak in for a moment.

Usually my daughter and I are both peacefully visiting dreamland this time of day but my husband had just came into our bedroom with a flashlight searching high and low for his favorite hoodie before hustling out the door to make it to the gym before work. Thankfully, she slept through it, but I wasn’t so lucky. After all, I am a mom and wake up to even the faintest noises. You know, like the carpet blowing in the wind of the air conditioner or my daughter faintly humming in her sleep. Anyway, I do frequently steal said hoodie (it is the best), so it’s understandable why he was searching through my closet for it (doh!). In any case, as I laid there awake I thought maybe I could get my day started early and get some things done. My daughter does not take very long naps and I don’t get much quiet time to myself to think. Around 5:30 I decided, OK, I’ll get up, get some coffee, read my bible and devotional, and get cracking on some things.

As usual, my daughter had other plans. She began to stir and wanted to nurse. I thought, oh great! This means she’ll sleep in longer if I nurse her now. Wrong again, mom! She promptly sat up straight in bed after nursing and stared at me. Ok…tried to coax her into going back to sleep – no luck. New diaper – still no luck. Next move, I went to get her a bottle, as she takes a supplement a few times a day, and thought maybe that’s what she wanted. Wrong again, she tossed her cookies everywhere after getting 1/3 through the bottle.

So now I’m up extra early, tired, and cleaning up puke. Not exactly the relaxing and quiet start to my morning I had envisioned. As I felt frustration and exhaustion start to set in, I began to pray and ask for patience. Ever pray and ask for patience? It’s God’s most favorite way to answer in irony as He’ll just give you more opportunities to practice. So of course what came next were multiple attempts to lay her back down and a baby fighting sleep.

After I finally coaxed her back to sleep, I quietly walk downstairs to get some coffee. Ah, yes. This is what I wanted! I got my coffee, a cozy blanket, my journal, and began to read my bible and devotionals. What happened next helped me make sense of my entire morning and refocus my attention.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV – A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

There’s a time for everything, because every season of life comes with all kinds of situations. This was a reminder to me that despite my occasional moments of difficulty, exhaustion, and frustration, this season of life also comes with the most beautiful moments too. It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of frustration but to battle that, I need to always keep the bigger picture as my perspective for positive living. My daughter is almost a year old and I’ve loved to watch her grow and change every day. She is just beginning to walk unassisted, says mama in the sweetest voice, pretends to talk on the phone to me, gives the most slobbery adorable kisses, flashes me a smile whenever I walk in the room and has such a sweet yet cautious personality that emerges more and more every day. My walk through motherhood has been such a blessing and this season of my life is something I’ll always look back on fondly, so these verses were a real reminder to me that there’s a time for everything in all seasons of life. In order to enjoy the sweetness of this season of my life, I must also take with it the frustrations that come along and walk through them with grace and patience.

As with everything in life, motherhood’s adversities are no match for a grateful & loving heart.

My Daughter’s Inner Voice

This morning started off as just an ordinary morning with my 9 month old daughter, yet it will always have a profound and lasting impact on me as a mother.

After our morning kisses and cuddles, we got out of bed and I set her up with a few toys to play with while I brushed my teeth and got myself ready for the day. While standing at the sink, I found myself feeling a little  discouraged about my body and where I am physically in my postpartum journey. I had expected things would be going back to normal faster than they have. I expected I wouldn’t be as tired as I have been as a new mother and would have had the energy for the workouts I’d love to do. Yet, as I stood at the sink, I found myself lifting my shirt to examine with disappointment the battle scars I have on my lower abdomen from late in my pregnancy. The negative thoughts I had quietly in my head were screaming so loudly through the look on my face. Feeling two little eyes gazing up at me, I looked down to see my baby girl standing there, with one arm holding herself up against the bath tub and the other holding her own shirt up as she examined her own tummy.

Oh, my. What am I doing?

Sure, she’s just 9 months old and was just innocently mimicking her mama as she loves to do lately. But make no mistake, my actions were ultimately teaching her that it is ok to have negative thoughts about yourself and to give into the pressures of this life to feel you are anything less than uniquely beautiful in God’s eyes – no matter how you look.

Although it is reasonable to want to lose a little weight and wish away the marks on my abdomen, the problem was my heart behind it this morning. I was trying to live up to unreasonable expectations based off of other people that do not match up with my reality. I am recognizing this morning that as her mother, my voice  and attitude about myself will greatly influence my daughter’s inner voice about herself. I want to treat myself better in order to teach her that beauty is not the sum of your gravitational pull and overall outward appearance. Beauty is what flows from the heart through your actions. It’s how you love yourself and how you love others. I was not loving myself well this morning and it is a blessing I have had this revelation while my daughter is so young.

This is just one small part of the endless journey to try and thrive on grace! This is MY journey! I needed this reminder to be grateful for the amazing body God has given me that gave LIFE to my daughter. Every mark is worth it. It was an important reminder to love myself, accept the things I cannot change, and work harder with a positive attitude to change the things I can. But most of all, it was a reminder to always be confident and kind to myself, as little eyes are looking up to me.

How to Clean & Store Cilantro

In the video I have linked below, you will see the best way I’ve found to clean and store cilantro! The method I share in the video has proven to make my cilantro last up to about two weeks, which is a huge improvement from how long it normally lasts. This is the way my grandmother has always done it and how I’ve been taught to do it. Also, I have found that if it’s washed and ready to eat, I am more inclined to eat it more often and therefore there is less waste.

How to Clean & Store Cilantro

Enjoy!

-K

Enchiladas Two Ways – Chicken & Vegetarian

In our home, we all love to add our own spin to things! Everyone is different and I love to embrace those differences and offer a variety of fun ways to eat the same dish, whether it be different toppings, sides, or sauces!

This set of enchilada recipes will offer a shredded chicken and vegetarian variety.

**Disclaimer**

I am terrible with measurements! I will mostly give approximations. But have hope! My motto is when you’re using quality and delicious ingredients, its almost impossible to have the dish not turn out deliciously! Happy cooking!

Shredded Chicken n’ Cheese Enchiladas – Makes 6-8 Enchiladas

1 Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded

6-8 Soft Taco Sized Flour Tortillas

1 Bottle of Enchilada Sauce (I used the Trader Joe’s Sauce)

2-3 Cups (ish) Shredded Cheddar-Jack Cheese, plus more for on top

Topping Ideas: We did shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, avocado, Mexican cotija cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, and hot sauce

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Earlier in the day, to save time, I shredded the chicken. But you can do this now if you like. I shredded just the breasts but you can use the dark meat as well if you prefer. I saved the legs, wings, and thighs for another meal.

Shredded Chicken

Get a baking dish of your choice, I used 9×13. Put about 2/3 cup of sauce in the bottom of the tray. Take a tortilla, and using a basting brush I brushed sauce onto one side. Now, if you want to speed this up and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, go ahead and just lay the tortilla down in the sauce to make sure one side is coated. Once the one side is coated, I put shredded cheese and chicken inside, then rolled it up. Repeat this process until your pan is full of delicious enchiladas! At the end, add the remainder of the sauce over all the enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Enchilada Prep

Here they are ready to go in the oven:

Enchiladas Ready for the Oven

The finished product with all the toppings:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Quinoa & Spinach Enchiladas with Cilantro, Lime, & Avocado Salsa Verde Sauce

1/2 Bag of Frozen Quinoa & Vegetables from Trader Joe’s **You can substitute this out for just regular cooked quinoa, follow instructions on the bag).

1/2 Jar of Cowboy Caviar from Trader Joe’s **It’s just a spicy black bean and corn salsa, you can omit or add regular corn, salsa, and/or black beans!**

6-8 Whole Wheat tortillas

1 Medium Onion, Caramelized

2-3 Cups Spinach

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

For the Salsa Verde Sauce: 

2 Jars of Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde

1.5 Cups Cilantro

Juice of One Lime

1/2 Avocado **Adds a lovely creamy texture to the sauce and thickens it**

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop and sauté onions until they are cooked to your liking and/or caramelized. Next, add the quinoa, garlic powder, and cowboy caviar.

Quinoa & Veggies Cooking

While this is cooking, I made the sauce! To your blender or food processor, add the salsa verde, cilantro, lime, and avocado.

Salsa Verde Sauce

At the very end, add the spinach to the sauté mixture in the pan. I only cook this briefly as it will all finish cooking in the oven.

Spinach added to Quinoa

Get a baking dish of your choice, I used 9×13. Put about 2/3 cup of sauce in the bottom of the tray.

Sauce going into tray

Take a tortilla, and using a basting brush I brushed sauce onto one side. Now, if you want to speed this up and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, go ahead and just lay the tortilla down in the sauce to make sure one side is coated. Once the one side is coated, I put quinoa and vegetable mixture, then rolled it up. Repeat this process until your pan is full of delicious enchiladas! At the end, add the remainder of the sauce over all the enchiladas and top with cheese.

Filling for Quinoa & Spinach Enchiladas

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Ready to go into the oven:

Enchiladas Two Ways

The finished product!

Quinoa & Spinach Enchiladas

Ideas and Things to Note:

We served these with black beans, but you could do refried beans, pinto beans, or Spanish rice! 

If you wanted to make the veggie enchiladas vegan and gluten free, you could use a vegan cheese and corn tortillas! Enchiladas are SO versatile and easy to make. 

This made a lot for the two of us but we are lovers of leftovers so I was happy to make two full trays! Hope you enjoy these recipes. If you give them a try, I’d love to hear how it went!

Blessings,

K

Roasted Root Vegetable Breakfast Bowls

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Roasted vegetables are a basic staple in our home. There are many variations I like to prepare depending on what we have on hand in the house. We actually LOVE to eat this type of meal for dinner! Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things. Also, another thing to note: often times you will see various ways to eat the same recipe. That is because my husband and I often like things served differently with different toppings! He’s more of a “ranch and white bread” type, which is perfectly OK, and I’m a little more adventurous with my palate.  You will see multiple ways to eat my recipes and I hope you find something you’ll enjoy. 

Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Bowl

Roasted Root Vegetable Breakfast Bowls

– Serves 2 Adults, Bakes at 375 degrees for 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

3-4 Eggs, however many each person wants

1 Medium Sweet Potato, peeled & cubed

1 Medium Sweet Onion, cut into 4-6 pieces

2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled & cubed

3 Carrots, peeled and cut into medium sticks

2 cups Broccoli, chopped into florets

1 Medium Lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Seasonings: Equal parts thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika, curry powder, garlic, celery salt, and pepper – I lightly dusted each one over the baking tray of root vegetables, then mixed.

**Optional Ingredients/Toppings** – Grape tomatoes, shredded cheese, breakfast sausages, green onions, avocado, hot sauce or salsa

If you have never tried smoked paprika, I highly recommend it! It has become one of my favorite spices, especially when roasting vegetables. It adds a subtle smoky flavor that is out of this world! I also have grown to really love curry powder in my dishes, even when I am not making curry. I have found it adds a subtle touch of sweetness and a boost of great flavor. It may seem odd to regularly add curry to things but it really pairs nicely with the other seasonings. I love both of these flavors, especially together.

Preparation & Cooking:

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To start out, I arranged the vegetables on the cutting board and took a pretty picture – I mean, I laid them out and began to peel and chop them! Hehe. Anyway, after peeling and chopping I usually would add all of the veggies into a freezer bag with olive oil to be tossed around and then coated in the spice mixture. However, I am out of freezer bags so tonight I did all my mixing and seasoning on the baking sheets directly. This way is a little more work but less of a waste of freezer bags so that’s a plus!

Root Vegetables

I keep the broccoli separate from the root vegetables until the end. I do this for two reasons: 1. To create depth of flavor in the end dish. I took the broccoli and tossed them in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, celery salt & pepper. The lemon juice adds a lovely freshness and tang to the dish and another layer of flavor. I love cooking with lemons! 2. I hate mushy broccoli! It is very important to me to maintain the crunchy integrity of the broccoli and I quickly roast them at the end. This means, once the root vegetables are almost done, I put the broccoli in for about 8-10 minutes. Now, if you like your broccoli cooked more, I would turn down the oven temperature to 350 and bake them longer. I prefer a higher temp as to roast the outside of the broccoli yet still leave it crisp and intact. I have thought a lot about broccoli, can you tell?

I love Broccoli

For the root vegetables, after they’re coated in the olive oil and spice mixture, they go into the oven at 375 for 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes so they roast evenly. After 20 minutes of roasting, I put the broccoli into the oven and let them roast as the root vegetables finish up. While these two things are happening, you know, the magic in the oven, I cooked two sausage links for my husband and over medium eggs for the both of us.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Roasted Root Vegetables

After assembling this glorious mixture of vegetables, they get topped with whatever toppings of your choice! Tonight, for the mister, he enjoyed his bowl with chopped pork breakfast sausage, cheese, and two over medium eggs. For me, I went a little light and just had one egg over medium with chopped grape tomatoes. Usually, I’ll add avocado, green onions, hot sauce, and a zesty southwestern sauce I make (I’ll post the recipe on another page..it is AMAZING!). Get creative! But the base of this recipe is just so, so satisfying!

Here it is, breakfast bowls two ways:

Breakfast Bowls Two Ways

I hope you enjoy it! Let me know.

Best wishes,

K

Rock Climbing & Blogging

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It’s always that first step that’s the hardest, and sometimes the most intimidating, when stepping out to try something new. This was the case with rock climbing for me…and starting a blog. Both uncharted territories, yet climbing to the top of that rock wall and being able to publish my first blog post were both very satisfying. Both taught me valuable lessons about trying new things and driving out fear to accomplish your goals. Who knew blogging and rock climbing had so much in common.

Situations aren’t always easy, but it’s up to you whether you just survive or if you thrive!