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Recipe: White Bean, Sausage and Barley Hash

This post was sponsored by S&W Beans as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Do you follow me on Instagram? If so, you may have seen my “dinner fail” when I made tofu for my family. My husband refused to eat it. My picky eater liked it until he saw no one else did. It was a mess. And truth be told I couldn’t deal with the texture either…. it was good if I just swallowed it- hahah!

The reason I turned to tofu is because my picky eater needs more nutrition. This kid eats nothing. It is frustrating and worrysome so I don’t know why I tried tofy. Desperate times call for desperate measures I suppose. I turned for advice from friends on facebook and a lot of them suggested beans. Beans are full of protein and they are a lot easier to stomach than slimy tofu.So, there is this dish in Peru called “tacu tacu” which is essentially fried beans and rice. It is meant to use up your leftover beans and rice from a previous meal. So simple and genius right? And it is so amazing. People underestimate beans and rice and let me tell you, I’ve had beans and rice in different countries and they are incredible. The other day I was feeling hungry but rather lazy so I made some tacu tacu using navy beans. I thought that if I added in some veggies and sausage perhaps it would be a little more hearty. I changed a few ingredients but the essence is the same- you gotta sauté it.I love using traditional Peruvian recipes and just adding in a little change just to spice it up. While adding more veggies takes a little longer, only because you have to chop it up, it did prove to be pretty satisfying.

White Bean, Sausage and Barley Hash
Serves 4
A quick and hearty veggie filled meal.
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Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of barley (the one that cooks in 10 minutes)
  2. 1 1/2 cup of water
  3. 1/2 can of S&W White Beans (or other bean of your choice)
  4. 1 cup of cubed sweet potatoes
  5. 1/3 cup cubed zucchini
  6. 1/3 cup cubed yellow squash
  7. 1/4 chopped red onion
  8. 2 sausages, cubed
  9. olive oil
  10. dash of salt and pepper
For the barley
  1. Bring water and barley to boil and then cook on low for 10 minutes.
  2. Let sit for 5 minutes away from heat.
For the hash
  1. While the barley is cooking, cut veggies.
  2. Once barley is set aside to sit, drizzle some olive oil in hot pan (med high heat) and sauté sweet potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sausage and sauté, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion and sauté for an additional minute.
  5. Add barley, squash and zucchini and sauté, stirring occasionally for for 3 minutes.
  6. Put heat on low, cover pan and let sit for 2 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
BRENDA BIRD http://www.brendabirddesigns.com/
Heaven. It is light and filling- something I need for lunch so it can keep me on my toes for the rest of the afternoon. And since my late mornings are precious (naptime and kids are in school!) I choose to make something quick- don’t have time to soak beans and such and beans are soo good for you! Healthy and quick- can’t beat that. I used S&W white beans but you can use your choice like black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, etc. They are all so good and they even look good.  And if you use this coupon through April you can get $1 off 2 cans of beans. Experiment and see which one you like best! They have organic beans and 50% less sodium beans as well.

What other veggies would you put in this?

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Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen

kid friendly pizzas We moved several months ago into a smaller house- not by choice. In my old house I had this magnificent counter in the kitchen. It was glorious. In this new place my counter space was about an 18″ slab between the sink and stove. I was going a little haywire and felt like I couldn’t cook anything! I needed extra counter space if I was going to be able to accomplish anything in this kitchen.

I scoured on Craigslist, on our our Buy Nothing Facebook group, and other yard sale type groups hoping to find something in our price range. You already spend so much money on a move it was hard to fork out some more money. My husband suggested we use this cabinet type thing the owners left in the garage. At first I said no because it looked too scary. Really I was afraid a gazillion spiders would climb out and haunt my house. But because I realllly didn’t want to spend more money I told him I would fix it up if he cleaned it out. He hates fixing stuff so he thought it was a great deal. Continue reading Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen

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Cooking with Kids: Chicken Enchilada Bites

Dia Del Nino with Herdez Chicken Enchilada Bites/ Bocaditos de Enchiladas de PolloDid you know that April 30th is Dia del Niño which means Day of the Child? In Mexico and other Latin American countries they celebrate this day to show appreciation for the little ones in our lives. It seems like everyday is Dia Del Niño in my house- haha! My kids pretty much rule this house…in a good way.

When I was growing up, helping my mom in the kitchen was something I looked forward to. We got to talk one on one without the distractions of the other kids. I also loved seeing her in her element. She loves to cook and could be in the kitchen all day long making delicious things for everyone to eat.

Dia Del Nino with Herdez Chicken Enchilada Bites/ Bocaditos de Enchiladas de PolloContinuing with that tradition, I have my little ones help me in the kitchen. We get a chance to talk as well as learn how to do basic things like wash, cut (with plastic kid knives) and prepare simple meals. I honestly believe that these simple and educating moments will help them in the future when they are on their own. While I am a bit of a control freak, these moments really force me to loosen up and let my kids be kids. And if we make a mess then it is what it is. It’s a beautiful mess.

Dia Del Nino with Herdez Chicken Enchilada Bites/ Bocaditos de Enchiladas de PolloMy kids can be pretty picky but one of their favorite meals is Chicken Enchiladas. This recipe calls for simple ingredients: tortillas, chicken and Herdez salsa verde. I know you’ve seen the mini tortillas in the muffin pans and thought- what a waste! I know I have. How could you waste the leftover tortilla that wasn’t cut out? Well, I found a solution… bake them and make them mini tortilla strips. And if you are a fan of the crock pot then it is the easiest meal ever and one that kids can help with.

What to do with leftover tortillas...make them into a crispy tortilla topping!All I did was prepare the chicken and they did the rest with minimal assistance. When I told my husband the kids prepared the main meal he asked, “Is it edible?” Haha! I’d worry too if my 5 and 3 year old were the head chefs but we made sure we washed our hands several times throughout the process. They ate as they worked but thankfully saved enough for the rest of the family. Add some rice and beans to the side and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Dia Del Nino with Herdez Chicken Enchilada Bites/ Bocaditos de Enchiladas de Pollo Do you let your kids help with the meals? What will you plan on doing to celebrate Dia del Niño?
Dia Del Nino with Herdez Chicken Enchilada Bites/ Bocaditos de Enchiladas de Pollo

Chicken Enchilada Bites
Serves 4
A twist on a simple Mexican dish.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 Tortillas
  2. 14 oz. Salsa Verde
  3. 1 cup Mexican Cheese
  4. 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  5. 1/4 cup Water
  6. Salt, pepper
  7. Sour Cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breast in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add jar of salsa verde and water on top of chicken.
  3. Cook on high for 3-5 hours.
  4. Shred chicken.
  5. Heat oven to 350F.
  6. Using a large round cookie cutter, cut out circles from tortillas. Cut leftover tortillas into tiny square pieces and set aside.
  7. Push the cut circles into muffin pan.
  8. Scoop chicken mixture into each individual tin.
  9. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  10. Sprinkle left over tortilla pieces.
  11. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
  12. Let stand 2 minutes.
  13. Add dollop of sour cream if desired.
BRENDA BIRD http://www.brendabirddesigns.com/

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Mini Jar Treats

I am so happy to have Denise here today posting these super simple (the best kind of recipe) treats and the jars are just adorable. These would be great to gift or for yourself…you know if you want to limit yourself to one serving….but who does that?!

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Cookie in a Jar- From Me With LoveHello!  This is Denise, from Where is June?, and I am so happy to help Brenda enjoy a few extra cuddles with her sweet new baby girl! 

I don’t know about you, but I fall victim to anything sweet.  I love desserts that look amazing, taste delicious, but are are simple and easy to make.  Cookies in a Jar,  simply a chocolate chip cookie baked in a jar and served ooey and gooey, are perfect in any season.  However, they are particularly awesome this time of year.  There is nothing better than a little something sweet after a delicious fall meal.  Plan to serve them with a big Sunday dinner or make them mid-week for a special treat!

 

Here is a quick break down:

1. Start with your favorite chocolate chip recipe.  In a pinch, I use the Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. {Trust me!  No one will know it is a mix.}

basic cookie recipe- From Me With Love2.  Fill 4oz jelly jars approximately 1/2 full with prepared cookie dough.  You don’t need to grease the jars.  Just spoon in the dough. 
 
cookie in a jar prep - From Me With Love3.  Place jars on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.   You want the just the edges to be golden brown.  Don’t over bake!  The centers will collapse a bit as the cookies cool.  Don’t worry!  This creates a perfect spot for that scoop of ice cream! 
baked cookie in a jar - From Me With LoveIf you plan to bake and eat them right way, give the jars 20-30 minutes to cool down.  You don’t want to try to hold the jar when they are hot!  A scoop of salted caramel gelato puts these babies over the top, but vanilla works too.   These are also great to bake ahead of time.   Just remember to microwave them for a 10-15 seconds before eating.  It is just too sad not to eat them warm!

Continue reading Chocolate Chip Cookie Mini Jar Treats

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10 Minute Brownie S’Mores-Perfect for A Weeknight Dessert

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

S'More Brownies in less than 10 Minutes

 I grew up on the East Coast but have been living out West for the past 12 years. Even though we visit family at least once a year, I always forget how hot and humid their summers are. That is until I turn into the inspiration of Edvard Munch’s painting- a sweaty version of it.

The kids and I are out East right now spending time with my family in CT. Even though it can get a little (aka a lot) rowdy and the kids seem to overtake the adults- we are family and we manage to enjoy our time together. While dinner may be chaotic with 4 kids 6 and under, dessert brings us back together. And s’mores don’t just have to be used for campouts- any night can be s’mores night.

Continue reading 10 Minute Brownie S’Mores-Perfect for A Weeknight Dessert

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Greek Chicken Pizza

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Thanks to Foster Farms® for sponsoring this post. As always opinions are my own.

Simple and delicious Greek pizza. Marinated chicken is awesome.

Lorin and I took a trip (seems like ages ago!) to Greece and Italy. When we traveled around Greece, where Lorin lived for 2 years as a missionary, we were poor college students. We lived off gyros and souvlakis because they were the cheapest- and the most delicious thing ever on the planet. If only we could go back and eat those all over again.

When we came to Seattle to house hunt, we found ourselves in this cute little neighborhood. As we walked around and looked at homes, we stumbled into this little Greek restaurant. We stopped by and ate the closest thing we’ve had to authentic Greek food. It is both awesome and awful that we are so close- I am tempted every day as I drive right by it! Our love of Greek food runs deep. Ok, let’s be honest, we just really love food. I came up with this simple Greek Chicken pizza recipe (almost like a gyro but on a pizza crust) so I could have the same taste whenever for a fraction of the cost. Plus, calling it pizza makes it so my kids eat it!

Continue reading Greek Chicken Pizza

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Pectin Free Strawberry Blackberry Lemonade Jam

pectin-free-strawberry-blackberry-lemonade-jamLast Summer we went berry picking for the first time. Skaget Valley has some amazing berries and I sure put my little family to work! I’ve made jam before but always felt like it was a waste because of all the crazy amount of sugar you put in it! After tasting an ah-mazing jam at the farmers market that used lemon and honey as a natural preservative I knew I had to try out my own recipe.

Continue reading Pectin Free Strawberry Blackberry Lemonade Jam

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Favorite Links: Easter and Spring

While I don’t feel 100% like myself yet, I don’t feel like total death anymore so that calls for fun projects, lively and colorful fashion (I’ve been gravitating towards black, white and gray lately…yikes), and just pretty things I love.

I am getting all my and Adelle’s summer gear here. I can’t even. It is all so amazing and at such a great price! I want it all and it all makes me so happy. Reminds me of my prep school days.

Lilly-Pulitzer-for-Target Continue reading Favorite Links: Easter and Spring

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Healthy After School Snack Roundup

I don’t know about you guys but 3-5:30pm is about THE hardest time of the day. Kids are wired and starving. I always have a hard time knowing what to feed the kids that won’t spoil their dinner. Now this isn’t just for kids, I actually enjoy these after school snacks myself and they are healthy so don’t really feel bad giving these to the kiddos.

One of my go to snacks is this tuna sandwich on a slice of toast. Simple but filling.

healthy-kids-lunch_featureIngredients:

  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

  • Toast bread.
  • Drain tuna.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and mix with red onions.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Makes 4 half sandwiches.

Easy right?! I leave out the onion for one of my kids but the other two just eat it all up! Here are some other great options for kids and adults.

Sneaky Green Smoothie

how+to+make+a+blueberry+green+smoothie

PB&J Greek Yogurt Dip
PBJ-Greek-Yogurt-Dip-682x1024
Homemade Pretzels
Homemade-Pretzels
For more of the endless afternoon snacks, here are some more ideas:
25 Healthy Back to School Snacks

25+healthy+after+school+snacks5 Fresh Lunch Ideas for Kids

5-Fresh-Lunch-Ideas-for-Kids-Graphic1-698x698Yogurt Parfait + 20 Other Recipes

how+to+make+a+healthy+breakfast+with+fruit+and+yogurt+parfaits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope this sparks some ideas on what to feed your little clan. Have any to share? Please comment!

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High in Fiber Snacks + Squatty Potty Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Squatty Potty but all opinions are 100% my own.

For those of you that know me, you probably knew that I had some major complications after the birth of my second child. I was the horror story that women didn’t want to tell first time moms about, but did anyway because it is a crazy story. Everything was fine and dandy after I gave birth but then my stitches tore and all hell broke loose. Now, let me ask you something- who talks about going to the bathroom after they give birth? Was it the scariest moment of your life? Because I shook and cringed at the thought of having to use the bathroom while some poor nurse held me up. These are things people don’t tell you about childbirth.

squattypotty_healthtipAnyway, after the stitches fiasco and then having another surgery after that to fix the problem using the bathroom was a really long and stressful process. My body doesn’t digest food properly anyway so that added on to the complications. I would advise you pregnant and new mammas to eat a lot of fiber- like a lot. Here are some of my favorite high in fiber snacks:

Trail Mix with dried fruit and prunes
Spinach Salad with avocados (minus cheese)
Papaya smoothie (minus yogurt)
Green smoothie with extra of kale and spinach
Quinoa
and lots of water. Not only did that keep me regular but also kept me from having panic attacks every time I had to use the bathroom. Perhaps something that could have helped me more was the Squatty Potty toilet stool. It is only natural to be in the squatting position to use the bathroom and also to give birth. The colon is in a kinked position when we sit but not when we squat- make sense? Even after all these issues with digestion and childbirth, I have used and found that this toilet stool really is helpful. I know, TMI but seriously- we all do it, why not make it a bearable experience? Sometimes all the fiber in the world couldn’t help me and it would have been nice to know a different position that could have helped.

SquattyPotty-HealthMatters-H1I am a little crazy because before I get any products, I always check on Amazon to read their reviews. I need to do my research before I buy and was so happy to see that it got 4.8 stars. To learn more about the Squatty Potty watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qnfkw6QJek4

Squatty Potty and I are so excited to let you win one of your very own to see for yourself and a $50 giftcard just in time for Christmas. Trust me, you’ll love it. And if you don’t win here use code Squat4Health for 15% off your purchase.
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For more information and tips, visit Squatty Potty on facebook and pinterest.