Tuesday, January 30, 2018

{Recipe} Winter Rice Salad

I made this hearty Winter Rice Salad over the Christmas holidays and it kept getting better, the longer it sat in the fridge.  It was nice to have a healthy, quick meal to grab and go during the busy holiday rush.   It's incredibly versatile and many substitutions can be made to tailor this salad the way you like it.
3 cups cooked rice (brown and wild are a good combo)
1 bag of cut up kale (remove stems and rip into small pieces)
1 orange
1 red apple (or pear), diced
7-8 green onions, chopped 
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 parsnip (or carrot) shredded
1 can chickpeas (or beans of choice)
1/4-1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup pecans/walnuts (optional)
salt & pepper

To make:
  • Add ripped pieces of kale into a large bowl and massage the kale a little
  • Add hot cooked rice to kale and put a lid on the bowl to steam the kale(if your rice isn't hot, just keep massaging the kale a little longer)
  • Shred parsnip in the food processor or on a grater, add to bowl
  • Chop green onions and add to bowl with lid
  • Chop apple into small dice
  • Chop celery into small dice
  • Add apples and celery to bowl and remove lid
  • Add mayo and mustard, stir all of the ingredients and add a little salt & pepper (optional). Taste and adjust, adding more seasonings, mayo or mustard if necessary
  • Juice the orange over the bowl, starting with half of the orange.  Stir to combine, tasting/testing to see if you need more orange juice
  • Zest the orange and add to bowl
  • Add chickpeas and optional dried cranberries (you could also add some pecans or walnuts here). Stir to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Keeps well in fridge and gets better the longer it sits. 

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Monday, January 29, 2018

{Get Organized}Thrifty Letter Board Letter Storage

I figured out a no-cost storage solution for my letter board letters.  When I first went looking for a storage container, I hit up the Dollar Tree hoping to find something there.  I walked around those aisles until it dawned on me that I already had the perfect container at home.
It probably dawned on me because I saw these cupcake carriers in the store. I already had two of them at home and thought they just might work.  
The carriers were a "must buy" from Kathryn on Do It On A Dime and I wrote this post about them back in 2016.
I pulled out some silicone cupcake liners to hold the letters and started dividing them up.  I used my label maker to organize container.

 I decided to keep the smaller sized letters in their own cupcake liners.
 They sit under the larger letter liners since I use the larger letters more frequently.
 Now, when I'm ready to change out the board I just pull out the cupcake carrier and get to work. It is so nice to have the letters organized and makes it a lot easier to change out the wording on a whim!
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

{Get Thrifty} Thursday 01.25.18

 My thrifting mojo is back! Miss High School asked if I wanted to go to a thrift store recently and I couldn't say 'yes' fast enough.
 I ended up with a few winter pieces: 4 sweaters and a pair of white corduroy jeans.
 I love the buttons on the sleeves of the turtleneck.
 All of the sweaters go with the pants but I snapped a quick photo of one of the combos below.
This shirt is so soft and cuddly, it's like pj's. The jacket is also thrifted from awhile ago.  Have you been thrifting lately?

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

{Recipe} Vegan Gingerbread Waffles

 Welcome to Waffle Wednesday! I had been thinking about these waffles from a few Christmases ago(four, to be exact) but we never got around to making them over the holidays this year.
 Who said gingerbread is only for the holidays? Not me! I made them recently and liked them so much I made them twice.  I tried them with and without the coconut oil, both were good but the coconut oil gives them a bit more fluff and crispness.
 I broke out my new (to me) thrifted waffle iron and I've been loving the small size and lightweight iron (I have a double Belgian waffle iron and that can be a hassle to pull out and use)
I could go for some right now!  They keep well in the fridge and would probably freeze well but we never had any leftover to try freezing.
They are really perfect with just a little vegan butter and maple syrup on top.
Yes, please!
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Dollar Tree Valentine's Day Decor

Wow, the Dollar Tree has really stepped it up in the Valentine's Day decor department.
I stopped in there last week and was impressed with their stock. They had a lot of cute signs and wall hangings.
There were fabric banners and wooden signs and lots of hearts!
These signs even had metal in the heart of LOVE.
I restrained myself from buying too much because I have plenty of decorations but I did come home with a few things.  I got some gift bags, ribbon (it's red gingham) and a sign.  I think it's time to start decorating!
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Friday, January 19, 2018

{Friday Faves} 01.19.18

Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite finds that I'm loving lately.
 I already mentioned this dressing in my last Week In The Life but it's worth mentioning again.  Grab it at Trader Joe's if you can find it!
 Aren't these little baby naan bread dippers cute? They are perfect for dipping in hummus. They contain dairy fyi.
 I saw these on a vegan youtube channel as something vegans should get at Trader Joe's. I'm so glad I found them. So yum!
 I got this pure date syrup in my Christmas stocking.  It's so good on oatmeal.

I have a really hard time finding this particular variety of Good Thins (Corn & Sea Salt) so when I do see them, I pick up a few boxes. The stats are really good for a chip like cracker. Serving size is 41 pieces/120 calories/1.5 grams of fat!
Speaking of corn, these are another recommendation from a vegan you-tuber and are oh so good.  They taste exactly like cornbread in a crisp, crunchy cracker..addictive!
What are you digging lately?
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

{Recipe} Creamy Enchilada Bake

In my quest to get out of our meal rut at dinnertime, I've been trying new recipes. I tested this one out without photographing it and when I re-made it last week, it didn't come out quite as pretty as my first try. Refer to the recipe for tips and nicer photos. I also renamed it (in my mind) from Vegan Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake to Creamy Enchilada Bake.  Whatever you choose to call it, it is delicious, healthy and hearty.
For the cheese sauce (makes 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup raw unsalted cashews *(or 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup white beans)
1 cup mild-medium heat, runny salsa (I used my Restaurant Style Salsa In a Flash)
3/4 cup plain unflavored non dairy yogurt (I had trouble finding this so I used some of my Cannellini Bean Sour Cream)
1/4 cup +1 TBS water
1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/4 tsp cumin
3/4-1 tsp fine grain sea salt 
Other ingredients:
9 small tortillas, cut into fourths
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
2 cups corn (I used frozen)
Optional: green onions for garnish
 1) Make cheese sauce by blending all of the ingredients in a high powered blender.  My sauce isn't as pink as the original because I'm using my homemade salsa which is a little browner/greener than commercial salsa.
 2)Preheat oven to 375 F, cut the tortillas into fourths.  Line 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper (or spray with non stick spray).
 3)Spread a layer of cheese sauce (1/3 of the cheese sauce) on the bottom of the pan, then layer tortilla pieces over the sauce to cover bottom.
 4) Add one can of beans and 1 cup of salsa.
 5) Add 1 cup of the corn.
 6) Repeat layers of 1/3 of the cheese sauce, tortillas, beans and corn (no salsa in this layer).   Cover with remaining cheese sauce.
7) I had extra tortilla pieces so I added them and then the last 1/3 of the cheese sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes (the recipes says 15 minutes but with the frozen corn, mine did not get hot until the 30 minute mark).   Remove foil and bake another 8 minutes or so (mine got a little dry but I think it was because of  the top layer of tortillas).  Garnish with green onions & serve.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

{Recipe} Homemade Limoncello & Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco

We decided a few days before Christmas that we'd have a signature cocktail at Christmas dinner that required limoncello.   As if we didn't have enough to do, we also decided to make our own limoncello.

It really wasn't hard but you need at least 4-5 days leading up to when you'll need to use it. We followed this recipe.

10 lemons
1 (750-ml) bottle of vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
To make:
  • Peel lemons with vegetable peeler and put peels into a pitcher (save lemons for other uses).
  • Pour vodka over lemon peels, cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 4 days at room temperature.
  • Make simple syrup: Stir sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Let cool completely.
  • Pour syrup over vodka mixture, cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  • Strain through a mesh strainer, discard peels.
  • Pour into bottles and chill in freezer or refrigerator.
  • Enjoy!

To make this Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco you'll need:
3 cups prosecco, chilled
1 cup limoncello, chilled(more or less depending on how strong you like it)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
6 sprigs of fresh mint
 To make:
  • Combine prosecco and limoncello in a tall pitcher.
  • Serve over raspberries and add a sprig of mint.

It's light and refreshing and the raspberries and mint look like Christmas!Pin It

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hummus On The Shelf

I spotted this product at the store and wasn't quite sure if I wanted to try it or not. Shelf stable hummus that you mix up yourself-"fresh hummus on demand"as the package states?
 It finally got the best of me and my curiosity won out.  I purchased the hummus but it sat on my shelf for awhile.  I was waiting for a 'hummus emergency'. I usually buy fresh hummus or make my own but if I ran out, I'd have my back up.  The emergency came and I opened the package. It comes with pureed chickpeas, tahini, spices and a little wooden stirrer.  You mix it all up in the container that it comes in.
 I bought the traditional style but it come in a few other flavors as well.  It does need to be refrigerated after you mix it up and lasts about a week in the fridge.
The verdict, it's good in an emergency but I don't think I'd buy it on a regular basis.  The taste was fine but not as good as fresh or homemade hummus and the price was a little higher for the convenience.    Have you tried it?
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