Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My new venture. Am I crazy?

These past two Mondays I've taken the day to cook for the entire week. I shop, cook, freeze, refrigerate, and clean. All in about 6-7 hours.

Why am I doing this? Well, I'm testing. Testing recipes I like, those I want to share with others to see how the will freeze, re-heat, and taste after being frozen.

I'm testing so I can cook in other peoples homes.

Wow! Am I crazy??

It's possible.  After a day of cooking my back hurts, my feet hurt, and I'm exhausted. But, let me tell you the most important part! I get to spend more time with the family this whole week because all I have to do is re-heat dinner!!!

After speaking to some personal chef friends of mine I realized there are organizations out there that can supply already tested recipes. Those that work well after being frozen. But, seeing as I'm a plant-based personal chef (aspiring actually) there are not many tested recipes. The hard part is testing them all myself. I will be at it another few weeks and then I can begin working for others.

I save time all week by not cooking. Wouldn't you want to save some time too? Okay, no I just sound like an advertisement.

There is so much more to go into a personal chef endeavor than I ever thought. I'm up for the challenge. Bringing plant based health to others is, well, a like a dream.

Yesterday, I listened to music all day and cooked and cooked and cooked. It was a lovely day! Tonight I will prepare my food in under 15 minutes. This means that swim class for the little one won't feel rushed and I get to sit and ask the hubby how his day went.

Last night's dinner was a simple Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Stir-fried Portobellos, Red Bell Peppers and Asparagus. I topped the salad with baby kale. Delish!

How do you speed along dinner?
Do you ever cook for a week in one day?
How bout just prepare certain items for the week?

Anything to make life easier.

Cheers and happy eating!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy Times? Quick, simple Chickpea Tacos.

I have a to do list. It's so large I have no idea where to start!

What I find great about this list?  I have things I need to do to better my future. To better my family's future!

It's so exciting!!

Yesterday I spent most of the day juicing. Juicing, juicing, juicing.  Why so much juice? Well, I'm teaching a workshop this weekend all about juicing and smoothies. I'm honored to teach with my Holistic Health Coach, Mel Mason. She and I seem to really work together. We have talents that combined make us like super heros!

I often juice, a few times a week actually, but rarely ever measure. This is why the day was spent juicing. I needed to get the measurements down in order to share the recipes. I love the health benefits of juice. I love that I can get so many veggies in such an easy manner. I also love that my little one gets her veggies simply by drinking some tasty juice!

So, back to my to do list. I have so much to get done. Why are there never enough hours in a day?

Still recipe testing, which is actually quite fun. New things that I can give my thoughts and opinions about. I love it. But, it's time consumer for sure. One day I will ask of others what I've been asked. Now that's exciting!!

I have a blog to write for a guest spot. I'm so nervous that it won't be *just right!* I'm working on the recipe portion as our dinner tonight. I'm hoping to get fabulous pictures!

I have a bio to write about myself. That's tough, I tell you! How do people do it? I need a ghost writer of sorts. Sheesh!

I start with my very first personal chef client next week. This excites me to no end. I just can't wait to get this chapter of my life started. I hope I do it ALL right! I hope they love my cooking! I hope I can watch my business grow.

I'm really doing this. I'm getting things done.

What I need to remember, what we all need to remember is to slow it down a bit. Take some time for yourself. Be it yoga, meditation, walking/running, hiking, swimming. Whatever really helps you to relax. I like to get to the gym, even if for 30  minutes. It doesn't always happen and I often need to remind myself but I try and I know I need my "me" time! We all do.

Do something good for yourself today. Your "self" will thank you.

So, amongst all the busy schedules, the hurried life I created a simple recipe that you can make up in no time at all. It's simple, healthy and good.

Chickpea Tacos: Serve with a side of Mexican style rice or beans (or both)! Some salsa and chips are always a great pairing as well.

2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 4 cups fresh cooked chickpeas)
2 Tablespoons Tamari
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Taco Seasoning Mix: Use to taste, store leftovers in a air tight container
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

For tacos:
Vegan Cheese
Taco shells

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix beans, tamari, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. Add taco seasoning to taste. Put beans on a lined cookie sheet, lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 18-22 minutes.

Add your ingredients to the tacos when chickpeas are done and enjoy.

Cheers and happy eating!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The day has come.

It's been awhile since my last post. Be patient with me. I've been super busy trying to bring you all new and exciting things.

My new webpage is coming along and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Life continues to move forward as usual which is a good thing. Lot's of love in this house I tell you!

BK (Bonus Kid) is well established now in 8th grade. Can't believe that next year he will be a highschooler! Time flies!! He's preparing for an entrance exam for a great highschool here in town. We think he'll do great. He has been busy with the basketball team as well. Although, last week he had a bit of a set back. He broke his finger. Hopefully that will heal up quickly and he can get back to the game.

The little one (J) is busy growing like a weed!! She's getting so big I can't hardly stand it. I remember her being so tiny!

So little!
What has been on my mind for several weeks now is the fact that J has stopped nursing. She did it all on her own, much to my dismay.  When it comes to breastfeeding my story has been a bit of a bumpy ride.

J was born in March of 2011, a rather perfect birth actually. I did it naturally and I have to admit is was the best part of the entire experience (pregnancy included). I wouldn't have it any other way. I got to experience, fully, all of what it takes to give birth. When she was born she nursed right away. She did well, although there is a learning curve for both. I stayed in the hospital an extra day just to make sure we were both getting the hang of it.

J nursed, well, for about a month or so and then one day decided it was hard work. She would scream. Not just a little bit but so much so I feared nursing in public! It was heart breaking. I thought for sure I must be hurting her. We had already figured out that dairy wasn't sitting well in her stomach (the dairy that was passed through my milk) so I stopped eating all dairy (haven't eaten since, yay!). But, this, we could not figure out.

The coaches for breastfeeding were not much help. Telling me to just push her on and so on. It was so frustrating. I finally went in to see J's pediatrician and she simply told me to pump and give her a bottle. She's still getting breast milk! So, for about 4 months I pumped. Every 2 hours at first then every 3 hours. It was a lot of work but so worth it in the end!

One day as J sat miserably pre-teething I gave nursing another try. She took to it and didn't stop! She was nursing again!

So, when I say I wasn't ready to let nursing go completely I mean it. It was a long road for us and I just wasn't ready. She had moved to once per day several months ago but on the day after she turned 17 months (a few weeks ago) she looked up and me and shook her head no. She's been doing it ever since. Trust me, I've tried. I cried. I cried. It was so hard to let go. I know I gave her the best for as long as she wanted.

My baby is growing up.

Do I have a bit more freedom now? Yes. Of course. But, I still think about it everyday. What gives me great pleasure is knowing she and I, as a team, made it as far as we did. I didn't give up and neither did she.

Go mom and baby!

Today she's nearly 18 months old. She is a little ball of energy!

Always getting into everything!

Her first birthday has come and gone. We know sit and think, wow, only 6 more months and she will be 2! How did it go so quickly? How have we managed? To be honest, she's a fairly easy baby. J has been a joy!!

First birthday!
My secret to motherhood is to spend every moment possible playing with, teaching, loving, nurturing you little ones. They will love you for it! I tend to want to hug and cuddle her more than she wants. She's so independent!

This past weekend we took the kids to the Phoenix Zoo. She loves animals so much I feel that zoo's are a great learning experience for her. I can teach her the value of life, animal life. I can teach her about captivity and my thoughts related. I can also show and teach her about all sorts of animals she wouldn't otherwise ever see. Picture books don't do them justice. We all had such a great time this weekend!

I really just wanted to take him home. He just sat there with me. He was truly cute!
How my life has changed since having my little one.

How has your life changed after having kiddos?

I count my blessings everyday with the family I have.

My little one is so grown up. I love watching her grow. I can't wait to see what kind of woman she becomes. What kind of kid. What she will be when she grows up. All those things.

But, first I will sit back and watch her just be.