Posts Tagged ‘Smoothie’

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To mention my recent absence, or not to mention??  Truth is, blogging is not a business for me.  Just a fun hobby.  And as just about everyone in the entire world knows, there are seasons when hobbies cannot take a front seat.  Or even a back seat.  Or even a sidecar.

This, for me, has been one of those seasons.  Is she pregnant, AGAIN?!?!?  That will probably be the first question many of you will think to ask :).  The answer is, right now, no.  The Lord has seen it fit to keep me plenty busy with my current role of wife and mother to five.  I am content with that!

My husband’s business has kept our family extremely busy lately, and it seems that any time we have him to ourselves, I just don’t feel like sneaking away to blog.  I just want to enjoy our togetherness.

But, we are still eating.  So, at the very least, I can share with you what we have on the menu for this week!

Gluten-free was a short-lived experiment for us.  We just didn’t see any differences – good or bad.  Still very thankful that we do not need to be gluten-free.  I am still making a conscious effort to limit our wheat, though.  Mostly because I just don’t feel comfortable eating any food several times a day, every day of the week.


Chocolate Banana Smoothies




Granola bars

Honey Nut O’s from Trader Joe’s (my kids thought I deserved Mother of the Year for this one)


Baked Potatoes, steamed broccoli, cheese

Bean Bowls (refried beans with fixin’s), corn chips

Turkey Sandwiches, fresh veggies

Pancakes, sausage, maple icing

Leftovers x 3


Taco Joes (like sloppy joes, but taco-y and eaten with chips), shredded cheese, tomato, sour cream, corn chips

Roasted Potatoes and Sausage, green beans

Chicken Spaghetti, steamed peas, carrot sticks

Tuna, Spinach and Rice, oranges

Beef and Black Bean Stew, fruit

Pizza, fresh veggies

Church Pot Luck – breakfast theme this week . . . Still not sure about this one . . .

So, that’s the plan!  Are you in a busy season right now?  What are you doing to stay sane?

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29 cents per lb!!!!

 I felt as if I had gone back in time.  Was it 1993 or had I really just seen a sign for 29 cents/lb bananas??  This was no joke.  And I was not kidding around.  I grabbed as many as my mom would allow without refusing to be seen with me.  We were at a Super Target, supposedly shopping for dolls for my girls.

My kitchen tip for today is obviously – GRAB THE BANANAS!  No, that’s too obvious.  My real kitchen tip for the day is what to do with these speckled beauties once you get them home.

We use bananas in smoothies almost every day, and frozen bananas work just as well as fresh.

Here’s the system:  Set out two large bowls, a cutting board, a knife, and enough freezer bags to hold all your bananas.

  1. Open your first freezer bag, fold the sides down and prop it up in one of your large bowls.
  2. Peel a banana.
  3. Toss the peel into one of the bowls.
  4. Take off all of the funky stringy things.
  5. Cut bananas in half or in thirds (easier on the blender).
  6. Place banana pieces in the freezer bag.
  7. When your bag is full, but not too full – you want to be able to lay it flat and freeze the bananas separately to avoid one giant banana chunk – seal it up and pop it into the freezer.

Now you have bananas ready to go for baking, smoothies, or one of our favorites – Banana Ice Cream!  And, another bonus tip for the day – remember my tip on letting your smaller children cut their lunches to pieces?  Well, here is another way for you to get a task done and let them cut.  Once you train them, you have just freed yourself from another time-taker in the kitchen.

For other tips, join me at Kitchen Tip Tuesday.

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It was darn hard for me to control my urges and not dive into my stack of freshly printed new recipes this week.  I am dying to try them all!  However, Jason will be home for one dinner this week.  Now is not the time to try six new recipes.  Way too much effort with zero guarantee of appreciation.  I’ll have to hold myself back and just try two.  And, we have a birthday girl this week who gets to choose every meal on her special day!


Yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, clementines x 2

Oatmeal or granola with blueberries x 2

Vanilla Spice Smoothies, cereal bars

Baked Oatmeal, Maple Icing

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Birthday Girl pick)


Black Bean Quesadillas, veggies and dip

Baked or sweet potatoes, green beans, apples and peanut butter

Morning Glory Muffins (new recipe #1 – I’ll let you know what I think), fruit, raw milk cheddar cheese

Homemade Granola Bars (I really should post this recipe someday), veggies and dip

PB & J, veggies and dip, apples

Egg Salad Sandwiches, tortilla chips, fruit (Birthday Girl pick)


Lentils and Spinach, fruit

Swedish Meatballs (new recipe #2 – beyond excited to have found a real food recipe for these!!), brown rice, broccoli

Spaghetti with marinara sauce, spinach salad

Cream of Spinach Soup, bread, fruit

Pinto Bean Bowls (basically beans and traditional taco toppings in a bowl and tortilla chips as the spoons – very fun meal), tortilla chips

Pizza and Movie Night (Jason and I are going to a fundraiser and Nana is in charge), spinach salad

Tuna Crescents, peas, applesauce, CAKE AND ICE CREAM!!!!! (Birthday Girl pick)

So, that is the plan.  Life rarely goes as planned.  But I will be majorly disappointed if life interrupts my Swedish Meatballs.

Hop over to Menu Plan Monday and see what everyone else has cooking!

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Vanilla fruits, dried

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I created this smoothie for breakfast this morning, and we both thought it was delicious and perfect for Fall.

Vanilla Spice Smoothie

1 1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)

3 pitted dates (or another sweetener of your choice)

2 ripe bananas

2 cups ice

1/3 c. raw cashews

1/3 c. raw almonds

1/4 – 1/2 t. vanilla extract (depends on your tastes)

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Strawberry Shake version:

Omit the cinnamon and nutmeg

Add 1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries

Add a few more dates or 2 T. maple syrup

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie version:

I haven’t actually tried this yet, but I am sure it will be delicious!  I’ll update the post with instructions soon . . .


Blend and enjoy!


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Zoom in deeper:

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We don’t get out much.  No huge surprise since we have 5 children ages 5 months to 7 years.  Few people are daring enough to take on the brood by themselves, and we are too miserly frugal to pay them anyway.

But, we do love our smoothie dates.  Late at night, Jason and enjoy piercing the lovely, slumbering silence with the deafening screech of the Vitamix – sheesh that thing is loud – and make our favorite date night smoothie.

Being the health nuts that we are, this is a huge treat for us.  It doesn’t even taste healthy :)!

1 c. almond milk

2 c. ice

1 ripe banana

6 – 8 pitted dates

1/4 c. unsweetened dried coconut

1/4 c. almonds

1 – 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Blend, pour, and suck through a straw with your sweetie!

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Meal Plan Monday

With farmers market still going strong, Jason’s gold buying business picking up for the fall, school getting back to our regular schedule, and adding a new baby this year, my goal is to keep my cooking and shopping S-I-M-P-L-E.  Here is what we will be eating this week:


Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothies (I omit the yogurt and add extra almond milk and extra strawberries since we are dairy free) and cereal bars from Trader Joe’s (a serious treat around here)

Toast, fresh fruit

Bagels x 2, fresh fruit

Oatmeal or homemade granola x 3, fresh fruit (we also love frozen blueberries in our oatmeal!)


Just to spare you from reading it 7 times – I always serve fresh veggies with lunch (carrots, peppers, cucumbers and anything else I have)

No Bake Energy Bites

English muffins

Baked potatoes (we enjoy our potatoes with butter, and some of us like either a little salt or ketchup (not me – yuck!) since we don’t do cheese)

Burritos (I spread a whole wheat tortilla with refried black or pinto beans, add fresh veggies, and fold ‘er up – no cheese needed)

Pumpkin Raisin muffins

PB & J

Potluck with church – I’ll be bringing cookies since it is Jason’s 40th birthday this Friday :)!


Veggie Black Bean and Barley Soup, bread

Sautéed Veggies in Island Soyaki (a la Trader Joe’s), brown rice, homemade peach sorbet

Lentils and Spinach (I’ll throw in any leftover rice from above as well, and a ton of shredded carrots.  I serve with fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.  This is definitely a great lentil recipe – coming from someone who doesn’t love the taste of lentils but appreciates their frugal qualities.), fresh fruit

Pinto Bean Bowls (I cook an enormous crock pot of beans starting in the morning), fresh salsa and guacamole, corn chips

Pizza (or popcorn for the dairy-free among us) and Movie Night, fresh veggies, fruit and veggie smoothie

Spaghetti, sautéed onions, zucchini and yellow squash, green smoothie

Leftovers and whatevers

Let me know if there are any recipes you’d like me to post.  Go snoop around the rest of the meal plans over at Meal Plan Monday.  Happy eating!

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