There are 24 days of school left. That’s very few days to get all of my lists done. I have a wedding list (find a florist, make favours, figure out the food), I have a trip list (finalize schedule, figure out vaccines, confirm hotels and excursions) and I have house stuff list (make bedroom curtains, make a pot rack, paint chalkboard wall, poke holes in our empty pool that we’re demoing so that it doesn’t fill up again while we are gone).
I only have a few weeks to finish these things and more before school ends, because then life will happen rapid fire. I think I need a serious game plan to pull this all off! If anyone is available to do become my personal s̶l̶a̶v̶e̶ , errr, I mean assistant for a few weeks just let me know!
Here’s your weekly 20 minute throw together meal:
Stir-fry with Peanut Sauce
This recipe is great because it really isn’t a recipe. You basically take whatever vegetables you have in your fridge that need to be used up (in this case red cabbage, yellow pepper, green beans, zucchini, celery, an onion and some soft tofu). You chop them up and throw them into a wok or big pan with a wee bit of oil. Have the heat on high and keep the vegetables moving by shaking or stirring.
In the meantime boil some water in a pot and add soba noodles (ours are portioned with little bands of paper. This makes life easier). Cook for the recommended time. Strain the noodles, then rinse them (they get gummy otherwise).
I can’t think of another phrase for in the meantime….Get a bowl, put in about a cup of natural unsweetened peanut butter (or more depending on how many veggies you have). Add about a teaspoon of sesame oil and one of soy sauce. Put in some chili flakes. Add water and stir very gentle (it will splash everywhere otherwise) until it reaches your desired consistency.
Assemble and enjoy!
It may seem like a lot of steps, but it really is a quick, healthy meal!
Note: When you buy soba noodles, check the sodium, many brands have a ridiculous amount of salt in them.
Note 2: If you use cabbage and tofu together, and plan to eat left overs the next day, be prepared for your tofu to look like mold. It will absorb blue from the cabbage. A nice disgusting surprise for my lunch at school!
Thank goodness the weekend is here, and extra thanks that it is a long week. Monday is a holiday. It seems that as the weather gets nicer the day stretch on and the weeks take forever. Then the busy weekends seem to fly by. This weekend I am trying north to my Nana’s. My mom is going to. My Godmother is going to be altering my wedding dress for me and then we will spend the rest of the weekend just hanging out. I will return Sunday so that I can have a restful Monday.
Yay for long weekends! I hope you enjoy yours even if it is a normal length one!
For a while now I kept seeing these little shelves shaped like houses for hanging on the wall. I kept pinning them (here, here, and here) thinking they were so cute.
Anyways, I thought about building one, but we don’t have a saw so that couldn’t happen. I tried to someone to build one for me. That didn’t work out either. I couldn’t seem to find anywhere to buy one online. I had pretty much given up hope and had, instead, taken to looking at the pictures once in a while.
The other day I walked into one of our thrift stores ‘Bibles for Missions’ on a whim on the way home from the library. I was looking for a small table for beside the guest bed. There it sat, a house shelf! It didn’t look very pretty, it had some stickers and marker on it from its previous life, but it was just what I wanted! And only $3.99. I took it home and gave it some paint. Here it is now:
Sitting pretty on my wall with its new inhabitants.
I would say this is a thrifting victory!
I’m going to try to post a super quick meal idea once a week. This is the kind of meal that can be put together with just a tiny bit of work. It is tasty and can be ready in under 20 minutes. We ate it with biscuits and a salad.
Cheddar, White Bean and Broccoli Soup
- chop up a bunch of broccoli (mine had 3 heads), one onion and a clove of garlic
- boil it all in just enough water to cover
- once the broccoli is tender use a glass measuring cup (or a slotted spoon, or a ladle) and remove about half of the vegetables, set these aside
- take off the heat
- purée the remaining stuff
- throw everything else back in
- add about a cup of white beans (use your best judgement based on how much broccoli you have)
- put back on medium heat
- add about a cup of cream, milk or broth (water would work too, but would be less flavourful)
- add half a cup of cheddar (or however much you want!)
I am in the midst of trying to finalize wedding plans. It’s pretty difficult since about half of our guests haven’t RSVP’d yet. My fault, I know, since I forgot to include a deadline for responses on the invitation.
We are doing the food ourselves, with some help from family. We’re trying to keep things simple. Since it will be a late lunch we don’t need as much, or as fancy food. We are going to bbq, making homemade sausages and hamburgers. There will be salads and a cheese plate. For dessert we are either doing pies or strawberry shortcake as well as fruit and cookies.
Right now I’m in the process of making lists. I need a menu list, a ‘who’s in charge of what list’, and shopping list. I think I’m going to try asking people what they want to be in charge of rather than assigning jobs. That way people can do what they are comfortable doing. I also don’t want anyone to take on too much since this might impede them from fully enjoying the day.
By doing the food ourselves we are cutting costs drastically, keeping things simple and we are able to create exactly the type of wedding that we want.
If anyone has any ideas, other than threats, for getting people to RSVP sooner, please let me know!
This is the recipe that almost did me in. Four time I tried this recipe. Seriously. Turns out the secret (again) is actually following the recipe.
These brownies are delicious. They are chocolaty, a little crispy around the edges and gooey in the middle. Unbelievably, the are also healthy and super easy to make. I’m not kidding.
The first time I tried the recipe I forgot to measure my beans. The brownies turned out good, but they were more like muffins.
The second time I tried the recipe I used two eggs. The third time, one egg. Muffins again.
Yesterday I followed the recipe to a t (that’s a lie though because I used regular white sugar). I used the correct amount of beans, I made the flax eggs. Shockingly, the turned out perfectly. So perfectly that they were all gone within an hour.
This will be my go to brownie recipe. If you follow it correctly it will not fail you.
I didn’t take a picture of my brownies because I was too busy eating them, but in case you were wondering I put walnuts on half and chocolate chips on the other half. The chocolate chips taste better, but with the nuts you can convince yourself that the brownies are healthy enough to eat for breakfast.
The other day I was at the grocery store and I saw a big bag of mung beans for 90 cents. I grabbed them because it was a good deal. When I got home I remembered that you can sprout mung beans.
Grab a clean mason jar and ring. You don’t need the flat part of the lid.
Rinse off your desired amount of beans. I used about ¼ of a cup. Put them in the jar.
Cut a square of cheesecloth to fit over the lid. I just put the cheese cloth over, then screw the ring lid over and cut the excess off after.
Twice a day pour some water in the jar through the cheesecloth. Swish it around and then pour it out again. Leave the beans somewhere where they will get a little sunlight.
In about three days you will have delicious sprouts. Once they have little white tails about an inch long, put them in the fridge. They will last about 4 days in the fridge.
They are super healthy, and almost free to make!
They are great in salads, stir-frys, with cream cheese on crackers, or just eaten by the handful.
Now I’m on to sprouting lentils.
Here’s a link for different things you can sprout and the nutritional information on each (soybean sprouts are super healthy, I thing I will have to look for those next).
Tomorrow is the first day of May (I’m sure you already knew that though). I’ve found this great challenge for the month of May. It’s been created by the David Suzuki Foundation and the challenge is to spend 30 minutes outside every day of the month. Once you join they give you great tips and ideas for keeping your time outside interesting. Some days this will be easy for me because as a teacher I spend a lot of time outside with the kids in the spring. Other days will be tricky because we get a lot of rain here this time of year. Maybe I will have to invest in a pair of rain boots!
Directly behind our house there is a conservation area with a river and walking trails. I literally only have to walk through a gate at the end of the backyard and I am in nature. This challenge will be great for spending more time there. It will also encourage me to get more exercise and spend less time in front of screens. The 30X30 website has a lot more information on why spending time outside it good for you. I will let you know how it is going throughout the month, and any changes I notice.
P.S. I finally joined Instagram, I can’t figure out how to leave a link (I’m finding the thing a little tricky to navigate), but you can search for me at tisty82.
The other day this year’s EWG Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen List was released. Like every year I looked it over and panicked. “Oh no, most of the things that we buy and eat every week made the top…again.” That is scary, not only because of the potential health consequences, but because of the ecological ones. Fear, however, is not the solution, only a by-product. Action and change are the solution.
Since the list came out I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to the organic sections at the grocery stores near us. It is not so reassuring. We do have options, but many of them are prohibitively expensive. Kale, for instance, is available at Metro. Conventional is $2.99 for a huge bunch which would easily last us the week. Organic is $3.99 for a tiny bunch, of which we would have to buy two for the week. Some things are doable, apples, celery and spinach are fairly easy to find and are not much more than conventional. Organic grapes, cucumbers and peaches, though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them for sale. Strangely (or maybe not so) garlic, kiwis, avocados and bananas, all which are on the Clean 15 are easy to find in organic and not too expensive.
So, what’s the solution? I really don’t know. I guess for now we will just do our best to buy the few things that we can organic and otherwise try to focus on the Clean 15. We already regularly buy a lot of those things (onions, avocados, sweet potatoes). Once the farmers’ markets begin I also plan to talk to the vendors and ask what their policies are. We’re also planting some stuff ourselves, though this is our first time so we don’t know how it will turn out.
Otherwise, we just have to eat healthy and hope that our food isn’t killing us, or the planet because in this world of industrial farming, it is pretty difficult to break the chemical habit.
P.S. Check out this guy and what he’s doing to improve his food situation.