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My Weekly Meal Plan

This time of year I struggle to switch gears to "back to school" mode. I'm really glad my kids don't have to go anywhere to go back to school and that we can continue to enjoy the wonderful weather together while slowly turning back to more books and studies even though we never totally put them down. ;)

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Pajamarama 2012

I did get a bunch of books and things purchased this past week and the kids are asking when our annual Pajamarama is. (It's a party we have every September to kick off a new school year. We have a big breakfast for dinner in our pajamas and introduce our theme for the year and things we want to focus on and usually watch a really inspiring movie.

Mostly last week though was working on harvest and getting a lot of it preserved. For the next few weeks I see lots of that going on and I'm thrilled because we had way too many empty jars in our food storage room.  Last week I bottled pickled beets and salsa and I'm pretty sure I will do some spaghetti sauce, more pickles and hopefully barley soup.

Labor Day BBQ

My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Labor Day BBQ - VeggieKabobs, Pasta with the marinade from the Kabobs drizzled on and lemon pepper, corn on the cob, Crunchy Cabbage Salad, Zucchini Bread, Limeaide

Tuesday:
Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Wednesday:
Famous Vegan Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Thursday:
Stir Fry

Friday:
Garden Skillet

Saturday:
Charly's Baptism Luncheon - Sourdough Baguettes with choice of Bruschetta, Carrot Butter or Chickpea Salad. Relish tray with olives, pickles, and pickled beets, some sort of salad I haven't decided on yet and cake or cookies, water with lemon and cucumbers

Sunday:
Leftovers


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Mexican Pizza Revisited

There are some posts......especially some of the pictures in posts that are well lets just say needing an update. At the same time though a lot of those posts include other things besides a bad picture and the recipe. They kind of include a little of my life at that time and are almost like a journal of sorts.

Mostly a culinary journal but a record no less and I don't want to just totally just get rid of them or update them to show now instead of then. Then was important too so I have decided to leave them and just do revisited type posts when I want a little updating and/or changing of a recipe.

This could be a fun Labor Day meal......I'm not sure what we are going to have yet but I will try to get it posted before Monday afternoon. ;) Right now I'm just waiting for salsa to come out if it's water bath canning and then I'm going to work on pickling some beets!


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Mexican Pizza
1-2 packages whole grain flour tortillas
1 cup frozen corn
1 small onion, chopped
1 can mushrooms or some fresh sliced (optional)
1 small zucchini, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can olives, sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced
Salsa (optional)
Real Salt, pepper, Mexican Seasonings, Chili Powder, Cumin ect. (to taste)

Have beans and cheezy sauce already made. We usually have both in the fridge already when making these and I just rewarm the leftover refried beans.

Crisp up each tortilla by pan frying it in some coconut oil. Then in pan saute onion, mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage and corn with seasoning to taste.

On each persons plate, have them take a crisp tortilla and spread it with refried beans and cheezy sauce.  Then you can place another crisp tortilla on top of that to do a double layer or you can just do a single layer.  If double layer top with a little more cheezy sauce and all the other ingredients.

You can slice it with a pizza cutter (kind of) and eat it or just pick the whole thing up or use a fork whatever you choose it's a fun meal that the whole family loves and its fun to eat.  Basically another version of taco salads!  Fun and Yummy!!!!


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My Weekly Meal Plan

So a few fun highlights from this week are.......
that I am struggling to keep up with all the harvest (such a wonderful problem to have)
I bottled a bunch of dill pickles last week there have been some trial and error to keep them from being over cooked and crisp and sealing the jars and not having them break....but I'll share more of that later.
I have been freezing peaches and enjoying a coconut milk and/or almond milk green smoothie with lots of frozen peaches. YUM!
My Sister came for a short (it's always too short I say) visit!
And my "little" Matt turned 15!

Not so little anymore now is he! He is almost taller than me now and with as big as his feet are I'm betting he will outgrow his Dad in a few years. Such a nice, good young man.....I'm so glad to have the privileged of being his mother!

My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

Tuesday:
Raw Guacamole Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday:
Grilled Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

Thursday:
Spicy Chickpea Veggie Burgers

Friday:
Stuffed Zucchini (Yeah we had used up a lot of our zucchini and didn't have enough so we had Taco Salads last week but I just picked a bunch so I know there will be PLENTY this week!)

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Taco Soup in the Crock-Pot (I have been wanting to try some sort of taco soup in the crock pot the recipe is in my head right now but it will be kind of similar to this one)


Sweet Basil Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Sweet Basil, Tomato and Cucmber Salad

So this was part of lunch today and it was so good......bursting with flavor and just a quick summer salad to make up fresh out of the garden.

I love this time of year when I can just go to my garden and basically pick a meal! ;) And I'm sure it's not just me but you can't beat that fresh picked flavor.

This year we planted a couple of Sunsweet Cherry Tomato plants and they are just full of super sweet yellow/orange tomatoes so I threw some of those in but you can use whatever kind you have!

When I dished some up for me I added some dry roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds that I had roasted yesterday gave it a little extra crunch and made it more filling but it's really good either way.



A Quick Summer Salad

Sweet Basil Tomato and Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber, coarsely chopped
5-6 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (if you use cherry tomatoes just quarter them)
1 small handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
Real Salt to taste
a splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl stir, taste add more of what you want. ;)



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My Weekly Meal Plan


We had a great weekend up in the mountains with my side of the family. We were able to all make it up there for at least some of the time. I think everyone had a excellent time. Some went on a Pirate ship ride around the lake, some went fishing, we got some reading and napping in.....lots of playing, fun with dress-ups and talking, talking and talking....Oh and did I mention there were a few laughs too! ;)







We couldn't have asked for better weather and of course there was not shortage of good food!




My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Massaman Curry (I make mine in veggie of course.....still working on the perfect sauce to post)

Tuesday:
Chilaquiles

Wednesday:
Easy Peanut Kale Salad ( I know this was on last weeks plan......BUT things didn't go as planned and there is still kale in the garden calling me and I really wanted to try this salad)

Thursday:
Bean and Zucchini Cutlets (veggie burger)

Friday:
Stuffed Zucchini

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Smothered Chimmichungas

My Weekly Meal Plan

We had a very fun week this past week. Monday we went to the Shakespeare Green Show and the play Comedy of Errors.  Tuesday was our 19th anniversary and Charly's 8th birthday. Wednesday Ry and the older kids went to Mammoth Caves with their youth group. Thursday Matt and Missy went to a dance and the rest of us enjoyed a quiet evening at home. Friday the boys went scout camping and then we had a fairly productive and enjoyable weekend together.

Charly was very excited to get a Ocarina for her birthday and so far has learned how to play Twinkle Twinkle on it. ;)

Sometimes with all the nice warm weather we kind of feel the need to get in all we can before it turns off cold again. Hopefully it won't get cold to soon.......cause I have a garden full of produce that is starting to ripen and I want to enjoy that for as long as possible too.



This week yet again we will vary a bit from the summer time plan because of a family reunion. But it's all good!

My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Stir Fry with Garlic Sauce
(okay I know we had this last week and it was so close to being a really good sauce but is still missing something......I am determined to figure it out I think it may just be more garlic ;) So we are trying again. If you want an already perfected Stir Fry try this one out!

Tuesday:
Mexican Pizza

Wednesday:
Easy Peanut Kale Salad

Thursday:
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taco Packets

Friday:
Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters

Saturday:
Roasted Veggies in the Crock Pot

Sunday:
Leftovers


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Fresh Pineapple Salsa

A few weeks ago we were visiting my Parents and Mom had taken some tomatoes from their garden and made pineapple salsa! I thought it was super yummy and asked her what she put in it. I know I learned how to cook from my Mom.....she was like, "Oh a little of this and a little of that."

She did say it would be good with cilantro and I readily agreed but we all knew why she didn't put any in.....my Dad despises the stuff. ;) Oh but I love cilantro such a wonderfully tasty and healthy herb. So not long after I got home I made my own version with cilantro right from my herb garden!

This is what I came up with.....


Fresh Pineapple Salsa
8-10 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 of a fresh pineapple peeled, cored and chopped
1 mango, peeled and chopped (optional)
6-8 green onions, sliced thin
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

In 8 cup bowl or larger stir all ingredients together. Great on top of a veggie burger or as a chip dip or however else you want to use it. ;)

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My Weekly Meal Plan

Last week we had a lovely time camping with family at the Nelson reunion. Meals were simple....I don't ever really plan lunches while camping because for some reason or other my kids just don't eat as much in the mountains. We took some snacks like fruit, bean dip with chips, and some things but not even all we took of those got eaten.

For breakfast I took some of my pancake mix, stuff for breakfast burritos (wow that's a post that needs some updating ;) and granola. For our dinners you can look at last weeks meal plan on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I made the soup ahead of time and had froze it in containers. I love to do this because it makes it so simple to have warm homemade soup in the mountains. I have also done it with chili and other kinds of soups.

For other camping meal plan ideas you can see our camping meal plan from last year. We still have plenty of camping plans for our Summer and plan to use some of these ideas again.
We did have some rain but it is so needed around here I tried not to complain.....too much ;) I know my yard and garden are loving the rain. Now on to this weeks meal plan....



My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday: Stir Fry with Garlic Sauce - The last Garlic sauce we tried was okay but we want to keep trying to get a really good one. So it's back to the drawing board.

Tuesday:  Taco Salad in a Jar - Charly enjoyed the salads in a jar we had a few weeks back so much that she requested them for her birthday dinner! (pictured above and yep empty Adams peanut butter jars work great since they have a nice wide mouth and are wide all the way down....and yep I didn't bother to scrub all the labels off just to get a nicer picture ;)

Wednesday: Raw Southwestern Salad

Thursday: Quinoa Burgers

Friday: Grilled Vegetable Stack with Lemon Hummus

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Crock Pot Ratatouille





Slow Cooker Vanilla Peach Jam

I have decided that I love using a crock pot for things like Jam, Apple Sauce and Apple Butter. I wonder what other things I can use my crock pot for when it comes to canning.

Maybe for our favorite Salsa or Spaghetti sauce.....not sure the crock pot is big enough for those though I like to make A LOT at a time. But if you were just doing a single or double batch it would probably work great!



I developed this recipe last year during peach season. It was so simple to make and if you are brave like me you may not even worry about water bathing them. Do this at your own risk!

But this is what I do and I find it works well..... I make sure my jars are good and hot either put in a 250 degree oven, sterilized and fresh out of heat dry in the dishwasher or in boiling water on the stove.

Then I make sure the jam is still very hot. I put the hot jam in a hot jar and then put a sterilized lid on tight and leave them to cool. More often then not they all seal all on their own. If one happens to not that one goes in the fridge and we eat it right away. They usually all seal though.

I only will do this with things that I know preserve well and have a high sugar/acid content like jams and apples sauces etc.

It isn't "recommended" as a safe way to bottle but I'm just saying I have done it and never had a problem. I learned it from Mom who learned it from her Mom......and well you know how it goes.

We have been enjoying this jam all year long and we like it so much that if I can get my hands on some more peaches this fall I will make some more.

Slow Cooker Vanilla Peach Jam
12 cups coarsely chopped peaches that were pitted and peeled
3 Tablespoons Calcium Water (from Pamona's Pectin - read insert inside box)
4 Tablespoons Pamona's Pectin
3 cups Sucanat or Turbinado Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon scrapings inside of Vanilla Bean (4-5 vanilla beans)
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons

Place peaches and calcium water in large crock pot and stir to combine. In separate bowl mix Sucanat and Pectin together. In crock pot add vanilla seeds and pods if you want (just be sure to remove pods before bottling). Stir in Lemon zest and juice and cook on high until it is good and hot then add the Sucanat/Pectin mixture and stir well. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.

At this point you can place in jars and water bath can for 10 minutes to seal or look above to see what I usually do. Or you can just put it in the fridge but you will need to eat it within a couple of weeks or less. I'm sure it would also freeze well if you wanted to do that.


Our sourdough bread is super tasty with peach jam.....learned most all I know about sourdough from this awesome class!

My Weekly Meal Plan


We are in full swing of enjoying lots of summer fun with Family! Last week the kids spent some time with their grandparents while Ry and I had a staycation.....where we stayed home, read, watched movies, did a little shopping and had a all around great time just the two of us. All in honor of our 19th wedding anniversary coming up next week.

When we went to pick up the kids my Brother his Wife and their new baby were visiting and I got to hold my newest niece! Such a beautiful sweet baby. I could have held her for hours and hours. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture she is the cutest thing ever.

Things are a little mixed up this week because of a family reunion but as usual it will be tasty.



My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Orange Veggie Stir Fry

Tuesday:
Taco Sundays

Wednesday:
Summer Strawberry Salad with a Kick

Thursday:
Burritos

Friday:
Tinfoil Dinners

Saturday:
Taco Soup, No Knead Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread

Sunday:
Leftovers


Starts in 5 days! It's been a little while since I have done a cleanse I'm thinking it is time to do one again.

Green Smoothie Girl Detox

My Weekly Meal Plan



Okay so I took a little unplanned time off from blogging last week and very much enjoyed the break. Ryan was out of town with work all week so we didn't even meal plan. It was kind of fun to just wing it and be less scheduled and it may be like that off and on this Summer but this week I need at least some sort of a plan!

Here are a couple highlights from the past two weeks and then this weeks menu plan!

We had a Birthday Party for my Grandma who turned 80! I keep saying that I hope I have some of those genes......she definitely doesn't look, act or move like she is 80.  Aunt Em had a fun quiz game for the great-grand-kids. They learned lots of fun things they didn't know about grandma heck I even learned some things.

I have said for a long time that Summer's are for families.....so I really enjoy it when the youth camps and things are over so we have more time to just all be together. Both our little family and with extended family!

Cousins spent a lot of time together last week and it was lots of fun. I think the highlight though had to be the water balloon fight in grandma's back yard!

 I decided to start purging the house again and to try to be done with it before harvest time so then I will be able to focus on enjoying and preserving the harvest! I'm in hopes for lots and lots so I can refill my food storage room.

My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Zucchini Casserole - Dinner is already made tonight! We made two of these yesterday....YUMMM! Our zucchini is doing awesome.

Tuesday:
Tostadas

Wednesday: 
Herbed Quinoa Garden Veggie Salad

Thursday:
Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Friday:
Chicken Garden Veggie Quinoa Skillet

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Crock-pot Lasagna



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Mango Soft Serve Ice Cream


I cannot really take credit for this recipe because I totally got the idea from Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers.  Thanks Laura!  Her Pineapple flavor is really good too but Costco hasn't had their organic frozen pineapple lately (at least not the one we shop at). But they have the mango!

Ryan says he likes the mango best because it is so creamy but you could use other kinds of frozen fruit too. We want to try apricot, peach, raspberry and I know Laura tried strawberry also and it went over well.

Just to let you know this is thick stuff and blending in a regular blender may prove a bit frustrating. I think a food processor (a fairly large nice one) would probably work best. But since I don't have one right now I used my Blendtec with the large Wildside jar. It works really well but does take a little patience.

I have to stop and stir a few times before it really blends well. It still takes me less than 5 minutes though. Using my twister jar would actually work better but I would have to half the recipe and blend it in two batches and this way is just faster. But if I was only needing one or two servings I wouldn't hesitate to half the recipe and use that twister jar. It is the perfect thing for really thick blends.


Mango Soft Serve Ice Cream
1 can coconut milk, chilled  (I tend to always keep a couple cans in the fridge)
1 pinch of Real Salt
4 cups frozen mango
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
3-5 drops liquid stevia (optional, don't really need mango is nice a sweet but if you like it sweeter)

Place all ingredients into food processor or powerful blender. Blend until smooth (not higher than speed 3 if using a high speed blender, too high of a speed can potentially separate coconut milk and make it grainy). Also remember it is thick you will have to stop and stir a few times until the machine can pull it down.

My Weekly Meal Plan

You know I have some new recipes I have been itching to post and hope to get them posted in the next few weeks. Sorry but I have decided that this blog will fit my schedule not the other way around and this summer computer time is seeming to be limited. But don't worry recipes will come and will continue to come just maybe not as often. 

We had another wonderful good kind of busy summer fun week! Lots of work and weeding and gardening. Missy got the itch to wash the car and the front and back porches.....Maybe she just wanted an excuse to cool off in the water but that's fine with me it was needed! I hope she thinks washing windows this week would be a good idea. ;) We shall see.

For the holiday weekend we got out of the heat and spent a few days up the mountain in Brian Head. We swam, played games and more games, watched the rain and hail hit hard on the afternoon of the 4th, Ryan read us THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, then went and ended up right under a spectacular fire works show.

It was great fun just being together as a family! Sometimes I think we don't getaway often enough....but it's always good to come home too.


The next day we went up to the highest peak in Brian Head. It was a perfect sunny day for it. We also had fun trying to identify all the birds and herbs around the area!


You can see for miles and miles from Brian Head Peak! But now we are back down to lower ground and ready for another week with another week of meal plans. Hope y'all are having a great summer! (Oh did I mention we visited with some people from Texas up on the peak! I told Ryan that if I ever lived in Texas I would for sure pick up the accent. ;)




My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Rainbow Veggie Stir Fry

Tuesday:
Fajitas

Wednesday:
Layered Salad in a Jar with this salad dressing recipe (I have been wanting to try some salads in a jar what better time then on our salad day this summer)

Thursday:
Flatbread Falafel Sandwich

Friday:
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Packets (cooked outside of course)

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Roasted Veggies in the Crock Pot



Grow Your Own Food