Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

September 21, 2017

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the week: farmer's market day! This of course means one thing. I have to use up a bunch of veggies I still have so that I can buy more fresh deliciousness tomorrow. Ha! One of my favorite meals to make either the night before farmer's market day or the day before I go grocery shopping is stir fry. You don't need a recipe. You don't need any certain veggies. You don't need any certain meat. Use up what you got.

Tonight we had onion, leek, celery, green pepper (a little wilty but nobody will notice once it's cooked up), mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, and chicken. The leeks, green pepper, carrots, and chicken was all from last week's farmer's market. Fresh and local has so much flavor. I can't wait until next year and I get my garden back. There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting after you have worked in the garden all summer. Love it! Ok, back to dinner.... My hubby seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and ginger. Once everything was pretty much cooked he asked if I wanted to add in any essential oils.  Hmmmm. Yep! I grabbed my bottle of Young Living's Ginger Vitality essential oil (which is safe to ingest) and just added two drops to a bowl of teriyaki sauce. You don't need to add much to get a really great burst of flavor. I looked into the health benefits of ginger. Of course, like every oil, there is a LIST of things that it can help support. It was so fitting when I saw that it can help with discomfort from teething (my hubby had to get a tooth fixed today at the dentist and he is feeling pretty tender) and good for muscle support (I went to the gym and had leg day after taking about four months off). We finished dinner off with just some steamed jasmine rice.

It's time to curl up on the couch and sip on something warm: Thieves tea. If you are wanting a boost to your immune system, join me! I played around with what I all put in it and finally came up with the perfect cup. I start with a splash of carmel coffee creamer, a squeeze of local honey, one drop of Lemon Vitality essential oil, one drop of Thieves Vitality essential oil, hot water, and two spoons of spiced chai tea mix. The creamer and honey help the oils to disperse throughout the tea. Yu-u-um.

*Note: I can only speak to the safety of ingesting Young Living's Vitality line of essential oils.*

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cranberry Turkey Grilled Sandwich

September 20, 2017

It's always a challenge for us to pass up eating at a restaurant when we have to run errands. The one tip I have for you is to try to recreate some of your restaurant favorites to make eating at home more appealing. We had to run a couple of errands today and came back home starving for lunch. I know if I had not planned on this special lunch, we would've given in and eaten elsewhere.

What did we make? There is a turkey sandwich at a restaurant back home that I absolutely LOVE. My parents visited us earlier this month and my mom recreated that sandwich for me. Now it is my turn to recreate my mom's recreation. Ha!

Another tip for cooking in general, is to make each ingredient shine on it's own and then once it all comes together, it will be amazing!

I started out with a cranberry swirl bread. Yum! It has so much more flavor than just using white bread, although you certainly could. I took some honey pecan flavored cream cheese and added some of Young Living's Rosemary Essential Oil from their Vitality line. It is safe to ingest and it is so awesome to be able to get the flavor of rosemary without having to feel like you are chewing on little sticks. Ha! I probably put a few tablespoons of cream cheese in a bowl. I dipped a toothpick into my bottle of essential oil and then swirled the toothpick into the cream cheese. I did two toothpick dips (clean toothpick each time!). Spread the cream cheese on your bread. Next up, cranberry sauce. Spread it like jelly onto the cream cheese. I only put the cranberry sauce on one slice of the bread. Then add some fresh spinach. So much more flavor than just lettuce. Layer on some oven roasted turkey breast and swiss cheese. Butter the outsides of the bread and toast them up like a grilled cheese sandwich until golden brown.

I hope you are ready for the deliciousness that is about to hit your face. Lunch at home has never tasted so good.

*Note: I can only vouch for the safety of ingesting Young Living's Vitality essential oils*

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Essential Mini Meatloaf Recipe

September 19, 2017

There is nothing better than shopping local. I love going to the farmer's market and loading up. Veggies, fruit, eggs, beef, pork, jerky sticks, tomatoes for name it, I get it. I was able to use a few local ingredients in our dinner tonight. I used local beef and eggs for the mini meatloaves and yellow beans as a side. I was trying to figure out the other side item and the kids just wouldn't budge off of wanting macaroni and cheese. Oh well. Life is about balance.

I took our go to recipe for mini meatloaves and gave it a little updating. I wanted to fit in some extra health benefits by using some of Young Living's essential oils from their Vitality line (which is safe to ingest). I wanted to add in some support for our immune, respiratory, and digestive systems.

The four of us love mini meatloaves so I use a bigger recipe. This is one meal that we don't mind leftovers!

For the meatloaves:
2 lbs ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 eggs
3 drops Basil Vitality Essential Oil
3 drops Thyme Vitality Essential Oil
1 drop Oregano Vitality Essential Oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup tomato Sauce

For the sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
parsley (about a palmful)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

To top:
french fried onions

Mix the Essential Oils with the egg and then added all of the meatloaf ingredients together. Shape into 8 loaves. Place them on a baking sheet covered in tinfoil and sprayed with a little non-stick spray. Bake in an oven preheated to 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the meatloaves and top with some french fried onions. Bake for another 5 minutes.

My hubby and I both really liked the meatloaves with the essential oils. They give SO much flavor! However, it was a tad much for my daughter's tastes. I think next time I would try cutting back on the Thyme and Basil to 2 drops each. I'm telling you, a little goes a long way when you cook with essential oils but you just won't believe the difference in flavor from using dried herbs to essential oils. The flavor alone is reason enough to use them but once you think about the added benefits of supporting your body's health systems- it makes me want to convert all of our recipes! I have a few ideas already and I can't wait to figure out more!

*Note: I ONLY can speak for the safety of ingesting Young Living's Vitality oils*

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chicken Moo-dle Soup

May 22, 2017

I started the day by meal planning. I went through the fridge, freezer, and cupboards and made a list of what meals I could make out of what I have left. The movers actually called us today and asked if they could start packing us up a day early. Yikes. So I spent the day in the kitchen using up what I could.

I decided on making a pot of soup. There was leftover hamburger gravy in the freezer. Hmmmmm. I only had two cans of beef broth though. I figured I would try something new and if it didn't turn out then we could figure out something else for dinner. What did I want to try? Soup using half beef broth and half chicken broth.

I started out by sautéing onion, celery, carrots, and turnip. I added in two cans of beef broth and the leftover hamburger gravy. I also grabbed three containers (sour cream size) of homemade chicken broth out of the freezer. I added just a few shakes of salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder. I had two partial bags of egg noodles. They had different cooking times so I just added the one that had to cook the longest, and then after a couple minutes I added the other bag. When the soup was about done, I added in a partial bag of frozen peas. This soup really just had any leftover items that I wanted to use up prior to the move. However, soup is very forgiving. I make so many different soups and they all just use whatever I have on hand. I rarely follow a recipe. My son said the soup was great. Hubby and I both really liked it. My daughter fell in love. She said it is her new favorite soup! I guess combining chicken and beef is the way to go! Hubby was pretty proud of himself when he came up with the name for Chicken Moo-dle Soup. Ha!

Next up, I wanted to use up some of my baking ingredients. I saw that I had almost a full container of bread flour. I decided to keep it easy and just use my bread machine today. I threw together a loaf of white bread. Perfect for soaking up some soup!

I couldn't forget about dessert. My grandma always made me molasses cookies. They were a huge part of my childhood memories. After I got married and moved away, she still made me a batch of cookies each time I visited home. I saw the jar of molasses in the cupboard and knew just what I wanted to bake. Her cookies. They always bring back fond memories, and a feeling of home. We are getting ready to go on a cross-country move with two kids and a dog.... her cookies are just what I need.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hide the Meatball

May 10, 2017

The countdown is ticking. The clock is counting down. Either way, I have 20 days until the movers come! Operation use up food is in full force.

I hit the freezer and found a few items to use up. I had a container of leftover spaghetti sauce. I also had two meals worth of meatballs. I made beef/sausage meatballs last week. The kids just weren't into them for some reason. I don't understand why because it was all basic Italian flavors that they like. Mama had tricks up her sleeve tonight.

Normally when I make spaghetti, I brown up some ground beef and then add my homemade spaghetti sauce to it. Well, tonight I thawed out one of those packs of meatballs, chopped them up so they would be similar size to ground beef, and threw those into the spaghetti sauce. I steamed up some asparagus and called it good. I am down to one box of angel hair pasta now. If you know me at all, you will realize how shocking that sentence is. I must be doing great at moving prep!!

Did dinner pass the kid test? They ate much better tonight. However, I will admit that when I had to go to the kitchen for something I overheard my son say, "gross, meatballs". Ha. So maybe I didn't trick them. We did, however, use up some freezer food. I'm calling this a win. I actually liked the combo of beef and sausage in the spaghetti. Just don't tell the kids that there is one more operation hide the meatballs coming up soon!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Peppermint Brownies

May 9, 2017

Today was grocery day. It was a much needed distraction. I had one of those days. You know the ones. The day where you want to turn the volume down on everything. The day when you keep saying "shhhhh". So I rolled some peppermint essential oil on my forehead and got to work.

Our move is coming up quick. The movers will be here three weeks from today. It is time to get serious about using up the food in the house. Wait. Didn't I say that last week?! Well, now I need to be serious, serious.

I asked the kids this morning what they all wanted from the grocery store. They had only a few items that they requested: lunchables/salads for lunches, cereal (my boy is a cereal monster!), and lots of "individually packed snacks". My daughter also added in that she wanted me to stock her up on the food that she hasn't been able to eat for the past two years. She gets her braces off before I grocery shop again! Yay for no braces! I knew that as long as I had those items for them that it would be ok to not stock up the cupboards like I normally do.

As for my grocery challenge, I was able to save $26.60 at the grocery store. We didn't go out to eat this week so I saved $80. My savings for this week is $106.60. If you are just tuning in to my blog, I go off of a weekly average. If I spend less at the grocery store or restaurants, then I take that difference and put it into a savings account. Watching that amount grow is so motivating!

Let me get back to using up food. I was trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I looked through the freezer. I looked through the fridge. I looked through the freezer again. Nothing sounded good. As I was about to bypass the pan of lasagna, for what has felt like the tenth time, I decided to just go ahead and use it up tonight. Why keep procrastinating? Chances are the lasagna would then end up in the trash simply because I just didn't feel like it. Lasagna night it is.

It was nice to not need to make dinner. Why was it nice? It freed up time for me to make dessert. I decided to go for a double peppermint whammy today. Peppermint brownies. Homemade brownies are a great excuse to use up some of my baking items before moving day. Homemade brownies are another great way to get some peppermint into my life. Just make your favorite brownie recipe (or box mix) and then add 2 drops of Young Living's Peppermint Vitality essential oil to the mix. You will thank me later. Promise.

It's been fun finding so many new ways to use essential oils to support our families wellness. If you are ready to help your family, I will post my link below. If you can't click the link, you can copy/paste it into your browser.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tilapia Tacos with Lemon and Corn Salad

May 7, 2017

I have been craving fish tacos. I bought some tilapia fillets but forgot to figure out what else to put into the taco. I didn't feel like running back out to the store tonight so I just made do with what I had...and they turned out great! My daughter had her taco and then asked if she could eat my son's dinner (he was slowly waking up from a nap). Ha! I told her no but went and made her another taco. My son ended up eating two as well.

I seasoned the tilapia with a seafood rub. I grilled the fillets for about 4 minutes per side. They were pretty thin though. The tacos had romaine lettuce, cucumber sticks, julienned carrots, and cilantro. I wanted to try using lemon essential oil in our meal. Young Living has the vitality line which is safe for consumption. Today I've made a Lavender and Purification sugar face scrub, diffused Lavender and Stress Away, rolled some Deep Relief on my daughter's calf (sore from a full day of soccer and over 30,000 steps!) and pulled a giant splinter out of my son's toe with a drop of Thieves. After all that, it was time to try essential oils in the kitchen! After placing the tilapia into the taco, I just topped it with one drop of lemon essential oil and spread it across the fillet with the back of a spoon.

I wanted a light side dish. I decided to keep the same flavors as the taco. I came up with a corn salad. I added about three ears of corn (cut off the cob, or you could use frozen), about a third of a green pepper diced, about a third of a cucumber diced, a small handful of fresh cilantro chopped, a little bit of the julienned carrot, and two green onions sliced. I made a quick dressing. I combined just a few tablespoons of olive oil, about a teaspoon of honey, and two drops of lemon essential oil. I seasoned the salad with just a dash of salt and a shaking of cumin and garlic powder. Sorry- there's really no measurements tonight!

We all really liked both the tilapia tacos and the corn salad. My daughter had her corn salad inside the taco. We agreed it is a make again meal. I think next time I will try it with red pepper instead of green. The sweetness of the red pepper will go great with the corn. I LOVE that I can easily find a way to incorporate essential oils into cooking. It takes 75 lemons to make Young Living's 15 ml bottle of lemon essential oil. That is some concentrated goodness! This is a great way for us to get all the health benefits that oils can offer!

Oh boy. I had to take a quick break from writing this so I could help my son get the diffuser going again. It's safe to say that our family is falling in love with essential oils. If you are interested in trying out the amazing health benefits of essential oils, or any of Young Living's other personal care or cleaning products, I'll put my link below. If you have any questions, I'm always around!