Easy Peasy Homemade Chili 

Some evenings are on the busy, chaotic side and others, like yesterday, are perfectly relaxing family evenings. There was homemade chili on the stove, cornbread in the oven, and an orange candle flickering on the table while my daughter made sketches of pumpkins (to be painted orange later) and my son played in his cornmeal sandbox. And yes, I made the cornbread out of a (new and unopened) box of leftover cornmeal from the indoor cornmeal sandbox for quiet play

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Beware: there’s not measures in my recipes. Why? Oh, just because 1) my measuring cups/spoons are usually in the bathtub/sandbox/toy box/anywhere but the kitchen. 2) when I do measure I often lose count (hey between my hangry brain and two little humans running around, it’s not easy to count) and 3) I don’t like math and measuring sometimes leads to math. I’d rather add stuff, taste, and adjust as I go. 


Easy Peasy Homemade Chili

  • Ground turkey (or beef or chicken)
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Black beans 
  • Canned, diced tomatoes 
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika 
  • Italian seasoning

Optional: corn, chopped carrots, more beans (kidney, etc), crushed red pepper flakes, cheese topping, cornbread to serve on the side. Everything but the kitchen sink. 

Directions 

  1. Sauté turkey, onion, and bell peppers. 
  2. Meanwhile, dump all other ingredients in crock pot or a pot on the stove (add some water too), and heat to a simmer. 
  3. When meat is fully cooked, add meat mixture to soup. 
  4. Simmer while cornbread is cooking, or let it cook in crockpot all day. 
  5. Enjoy with the family. 

Bonus tip: I like to cook double the meat needed, then use the extra batch of pre-cooked meat for dinner tomorrow. Tonight I’ll be making easy enchiladas with the extra cooked meat from last night. 

“Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven.”

What’s your favorite family dinner or favorite fall soup? 

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Breakfast Solution: Quiche Cups

Quick and Easy Quiche Cups for Breakfast

I’m working on my health one habit at a time, and the focus right now is breakfast. A healthy breakfast (and a strong cup of coffee) give me the energy and nutrition I need for work, family, kids, running, yoga, and (mostly) keeping my sanity through it all.

I recently realized I sometimes sacrifice breakfast to get dressed and brush my hair on work days. Then I realized I can have my cake and eat it, too – or at least get dressed and eat breakfast, too. So now I’m on a journey of making breakfast ahead of time for the whole work week.

Last week I made a batch of Pear Quinoa Breakfast Salad. This week I made something that deliciously resembles one of my favorite breakfasts – omelets! I love omelets but rarely take time to make them, so I’m excited for this quick alternative. Before we get to the recipe –

WARNING: I don’t measure, and if I do it’s a flexible/best guess measurement. I’m not trying to make it difficult for you. If a recipe is so high-maintenance that it requires precise measurements, well then that recipe just isn’t for me (Unless it’s cookies. Or cake.).

Let’s get real – I’ve got kids. Kids try to help and bless their hearts – kids don’t measure accurately, and then they spill both inside the mixing bowl and out. If they aren’t helping, they’re distracting me and I lose track of how many scoops or cups or spoonfulls I’m counting anyway.  Oh, and I’m usually trying to get it done as efficiently as possible. It’s easier to just grab a handful of something or shake a spice right in than it is to find the measuring cups and spoons, wash them (because I found them in the bathtub or play kitchen), and then use them.

“One, two, three…yes you must wear clothes when our company comes over…wait, how many cups did I just put in? Meh, good enough.”

Sara’s Make Ahead Omelets (aka Quiche Cups, aka Breakfast of Champions)

Quick and Easy Quiche Cups for a healthy breakfast

YOU WILL NEED

6 eggs
6 egg whites 
cheese
red pepper, chopped
spinach (I used whole but next time I’ll shred it up first)
onion, chopped
turmeric+
coconut oil*+
chia seeds+

*I melt the coconut oil before adding it to the mixing bowl. I put coconut oil in a small oven-safe dish and place in oven while preheating. It melted by the time I was done chopping veggies.

+I add these ingredients to as many recipes as possible because they’re just so good for you. Serious. Google their benefits and you’ll be impressed.

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk eggs and egg whites.

Whisk eggs: Quiche Cups Breakfast Recipe

Mix in remaining ingredients.

Quick and Easy Quiche Cups Breakfast Recipe

Spray or grease muffin pan (I use coconut oil to grease pan) and pour mixture into muffin pan.

Quick and Easy Quiche Cups ready to bake

Bake 20-22 minutes then let cool on rack.

Fresh baked quiche cups for a quick and easy breakfast

Store in fridge, and microwave 15 seconds to reheat.

I’ve been eating these throughout the week, and I find myself looking forward to them when I wake up in the mornings. They taste good and they make me feel good, too.

Make good choices. Fight for your sanity. Eat breakfast.

Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”  -Dallin H. Oaks

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast? Do you ever prepare breakfast ahead of time?

Pear Quinoa Breakfast Salad

During the day I’m sold on the importance of a good breakfast to help with health, energy, and weight loss. But come early morning – I’m tired, hungry, and desperate for something quick to eat. Speed wins over quality every morning. Every night I think tomorrow I’ll eat something better and every morning I feel I only have time for cereal, a (sugary) muffin, or maybe just a coffee.

Well I’m no longer a victim of myself. I’ve been on a hunt for quick and easy breakfast ideas, and I’m specifically looking for things that can be made in bulk ahead of time (in the evening when I’m motivated) so that in the morning I can grab-and-go.

Tonight I’m setting myself up for a healthier tomorrow. I made a batch of Pear Quinoa Breakfast Salad. It will sit in the fridge and provide breakfast for the week. No excuses. All I have to do is dish up and eat my healthy, protein-packed (did you know quinoa is full of complete proteins?) breakfast.

The basic Pear Quinoa Breakfast Salad is good alone, and even better topped with plain Greek yogurt and honey. If you’re feeling really fancy, slice up banana or top with fresh or frozen berries.

This recipe is gluten-free, and fits well into any clean-eating plan. The quinoa, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds (I sneak chia seeds into everything) have lots of protein; the fruit, honey, and coconut oil will give you a kick of energy to get your day going.

So let’s get to it! Here’s the recipe for your new favorite gluten-free quick and easy high-protein energy boosting breakfast.

Sara’s Pear Quinoa Breakfast Salad

You will need
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 pear
Cinnamon

*Optional: chia seeds, coconut oil, Greek yogurt, honey, banana, fresh or frozen berries

*Variation: try replacing the pear with an apple

just a few ingredients needed, and most are staples in my kitchen

just a few ingredients needed, most are staples in my kitchen

How to make your new favorite breakfast

Add coconut oil to quinoa while cooking. I didn’t measure, I just added a big, rounded spoonful.

cooking quinoa with coconut oil and chia seeds

cooking quinoa with coconut oil and chia seeds

Dice pear into bite size pieces. I washed mine well and left the skin on.

Mix quinoa, pears, cinnamon, and chia seeds. I didn’t measure the cinnamon either, I just dumped some in. And when I thought I had enough, I added a little bit more.

ready to be chilled

ready to be chilled

Store in the fridge in your favorite Tupperware.

To serve

quick and easy (and healthy!) breakfast

quick and easy (and healthy!) breakfast

Dish up the chilled breakfast salad, top with Greek yogurt, and drizzle honey on top.

pear quinoa breakfast salad with Greek yogurt and honey

pear quinoa breakfast salad with Greek yogurt and honey

Enjoy!

 

Want another easy breakfast idea? Give quiche a chance.

Quick and Easy Quiche Cups for a healthy breakfast

Need quinoa? Buy some here.  

Stovetop Popcorn (and m&ms)

Tonight we made stovetop popcorn and it was surprisingly easy. I love freshly popped popcorn, and it’s a healthy snack (well, until I add the m&ms). I’ve tried the homemade microwave popcorn (put kernels in a paper bag, fold the top down, and microwave). It tastes good and it’s better for you than prepackaged microwave popcorn. But it just doesn’t compare to stovetop popcorn.

I had a movie date planned with Capri, my 4-year old. We went out today and bought popcorn kernels and a bag of m&ms (if you’ve never tried popcorn and m&ms, you must). After baby William went to bed, we got our movie ready (Monsters University) and made possibly the most delicious popcorn ever. It was a fun experience, too.

Her eyes filled with delight as she watched it pop on the stove – it was a simple pleasure and sweet moment.

How to make stovetop popcorn and m&ms

You will need

3 tbsp oil

1/2 cup kernels

m&ms (optional)

popcorn starting to pop on the stove

popcorn starting to pop on the stove

Directions

  • Add oil and kernels to a deep pan and cover with a lid.
  • Turn heat on medium-high.
  • Watch the popcorn pop before your eyes.
  • Remove from heat when popping slows (it only takes a few minutes).
  • Transfer popcorn to bowl and add m&ms.
stovetop popcorn and m&ms

stovetop popcorn and m&ms – a sweet treat for movie time

I’m a big fan of coconut oil and that’s what I used for this recipe. It gives the slightest hint of flavor to the popcorn, makes it taste delicious, and it’s healthy.

I hope you try stovetop popcorn at least once. It’s a fun experience (I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, me or my child) and once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

from stove to bowl only took a few minutes

from stove to bowl only took a few minutes



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Who says a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich has to be boring? My mom was amazing at making simple things fun for us as kids, and I strive to do the same. While I wasn’t up to making anything more than PB&J for lunch, I still wanted to make it fun.

We started by cutting our sandwiches into finger sandwiches – which, as I convinced my daughter, are much fancier than regular sandwiches. We arranged them on a colorful platter with other finger foods and dished ourselves up on little paper plates, just as if we were having a party.

making simple things fun

making simple things fun

My daughter took it a step further and made fun and artistic creations with her food, which I allowed because playing with food is fun.

playing with food is fun

playing with food is fun

As Kid President says:

“I’m not in a party, I AM A PARTY! Everywhere I go is a party!”


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