Menu plan – 11-29-15

Hello! How was your Thanksgiving? We enjoyed a beautiful morning for our annual family Turkey Trot. God even blessed us with a reminder of His promises with the rainbow in the distance. Can you see it?


Then, we hopped on the road to drive to my Grandma’s. Fun music always makes long trips seem to go by faster. I always wonder if other people think we’re nuts as they drive past us singing and dancing in the car. 🙂

We really enjoyed visiting with my side of the family. There’s nothing quite like my Mamaw and Papaw’s house. Friday we enjoyed a nice day at home. Saturday, we headed to Hunky Husband’s parents. Have I mentioned how much I love them? We had a wonderful time.

On the menu for this week –

Sunday – Thanksgiving leftovers

Monday – Hunky Husband’s birthday dinner!

Tuesday – Butternut squash soup, veggies

Wednesday –  Spaghetti squash casserole, salad

Thursday – Black Bean tacos

Friday – Stuffed Peppers, baked potatoes

Saturday – Veggie Omelets, fruit

How was your Thanksgiving?


Dear Hostess,

I have been leading a monthly food allergies support group for almost a year. I have learned some things along the way that I would like to share. Maybe you don’t deal with food allergies or sensitivities, but one of your family members or friends does. Just a few things to keep in mind especially when hosting a holiday meal.

  1. Let them bring something. Most people with food sensitivities will voluteer to bring a side dish or two or maybe just to bring a whole meal for themselves. Social gatherings are a huge source of anxiety for those with food restrictions. They want to be able to eat without fear of having a reaction.
  2. They are not trying to make your life difficult and they aren’t trying to be rude by not eating your stuffing. They are simply trying to avoid having a reaction.  In fact, they really don’t want to inconvenience you AT ALL. I know that putting a holiday meal together is hard work. No need to make it more difficult!
  3. There are different types of food intolerances. In severe cases, they may experience anaphylaxis. In other cases, they may suffer from a rash, diarrhea, vomiting, pain, migraines, etc… It may take some of them days to recover from such a reaction. In celiacs, they are damaging their intestinal wall.
  4. It is super sweet of you to make something special for them. If you REALLY want to do this, please educate yourself about cross contamination or purchase something that is already safely prepared.
  5. Don’t make a big deal about it. They don’t want their food intolerance to be a topic of conversation. They just want to enjoy time with family and friends.
  6. Finally, there’s more to life than food. Many of us have been dealing with food restrictions for years. We honestly just want to enjoy time with YOU!
This lady… She always makes me feel welcome and I can’t wait to see her!

Do you deal with food restrictions? Do any of your guests deal with food restrictions?

Disclaimer: This is not directed towards my family AT ALL. They are super understanding!

Amanda’s Tomato Cream Sauce (Dairy free)

I love creating recipes. Unfortunately, I’m a “little bit of this, little bit of that,” kind of a cook. So, I’m excited that I actually measured and wrote this one down. I may or may not have used my finger to clean the food processor after I was finished.


Amanda’s dairy free tomato cream sauce

½ cup raw cashews

1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 T. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried basil

¼ tsp. sea salt

Soak cashews for 2 hours. Drain. Add everything to food processor and blend well. Pour over spaghetti squash and mix well in a pot. Heat over low heat until warm.

Are you a strict recipe follower?

Meal planning – 11-22-15

Last week was FUN! I had the opportunity to teach a gluten and dairy free cooking class at our local food co-op. We made green bean casserole and a pumpkin dessert. Yum! They requested a class in December on gluten and dairy free Christmas sweets. Let the experimenting begin!

Thursday was our last day of co-op for the semester. The kids had a Thanksgiving party and presentation night where their choir performed. I teach their choir class. I love being able to sing with the kids. There’s just nothing quite like music… and running. 😉 I think their favorite song from this semester was “Tomorrow.”

The menu plan for this week will be pretty simple with the holiday coming up.

Sunday – Bean tacos

Monday – Spaghetti squash (combo of spaghetti squash and pasta for some of the crowd) with cream sauce (recipe tomorrow), salad


Tuesday – Veggie chili

Wednesday – Bean burgers, salad, veggies

Thursday – Thanksgiving with family – I haven’t completely decided what I’m taking yet. Probably Festive Chickpea Tart and some kind of salad.

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Thanksgiving #2 with family – DF green bean casserole and either spaghetti squash casserole or squash salad.

What are you making for Thanksgiving? How many Thanksgiving meals will you be attending?

Keepin’ it real

It occurred to me the other day when talking with a health coaching client how easy it is to think that others have it all together. We look at others and think:

Everything comes easy to them. They are perfectly patient. They never get angry. They have healthy, scrumptious dinners on the table every night as soon as their husband walks through the door. You could eat off of their floor – it’s so clean!

Let me be the first to tell you that this just simply isn’t true. Unfortunately in the world of social media, we only see the surface of people’s lives. And people, generally don’t post about having a terrible day or post pictures of their messy closets/kitchens/etc…

So, here’s my “Keepin’ it real” for today…

I worry about everything. Hunky husband says if I don’t have something to worry about, I will worry that I don’t have anything to worry about. This has led to physical symptoms like neck pain. I’m working on it.

I am not perfectly patient. It is only through prayer and God’s help that I don’t throw temper tantrums on some days.

Sometimes I make new recipes that no one likes. My feelings always get hurt when this happens because cooking is my “thing.” How silly is that? It’s just food.

We don’t have gourmet dinners every night. For example, we have bean tacos (one of the easiest and quickest meals) at least once a week.

I love dark chocolate, frozen bananas with my chocolate sauce, and So-Delicious dairy free ice cream (once in a while – it’s expensive!). I indulge in these things regularly.

Do you have any “Keepin’ it real” stories to share?

My week and Menu Planning – 11-15-15

Last week I was able to co-host the Fresh Fix, a 5 day clean eating program, with a few other awesome health coaches. I love being able to help others feel their best! It’s always fun to see other’s recipe creations too! The next Fresh Fix starts on December 14. I would love for you to join us! 

On Saturday, my youngest used a gift certificate to a local horse riding stable. She loves horses and is hoping to take riding lessons in the Spring/Summer.

My husband finished a trail race series over the weekend as well. This last 15K was the hardest one yet. It was a double lap where the end (twice because of the double lap) was 145 stairs. Yowza.

On the menu for this week:

Sunday – Veggie omelets and fruit

Monday – Roasted Red pepper soup

Tuesday – Sweet and spicy double squash salad (new!) and bean burgers (on Lettuce leaves or whole grain buns for the kids)

Wednesday – Baked stuffed pumpkins (modified to be GF and dairy free)

Thursday – Out!

Friday – Black bean tacos

Saturday – Leftovers

My week and Menu Planning – 11-8-15

Last week was a whirlwind… a blessed whirlwind.  We got celebrate Miss Spunky’s birthday and enjoyed a special week of Bible lessons every night from a visiting preacher.


I tried a new breakfast recipe this week. The girls kind of wrinkled their nose until they tasted it. “Mom, this is good!

Pumpkin breakfast quinoa

This week, I’m co-hosting The Fresh Fix with a group of awesome Health Coaches.  We’re focusing on clean eating with the addition of the Vitalizer and protein packed smoothies.

Sunday – Stuffed peppers (in the crock-pot)

Monday – Leftover butternut squash soup (from Saturday) and salads

Tuesday – Spaghetti squash and Italian bean balls and salads

Wednesday – Bean burgers on lettuce leaves (or whole grain buns for the kids), green beans, and roasted potatoes

Thursday – “Refried” bean tacos – I’m pretty sure we eat these every week. They are so easy on a busy night!

Friday – Carmelized Onion Spaghetti Squash Casserole (new!) and sides (?)

Saturday – Leftovers

Do you have things that you eat every week?

What’s for dinner? 11-1-15

How is it November already?

We had a super weekend! We hosted a little homeschool Halloween party Friday afternoon.

Happy Halloween from my scientist and Annie.

My awesome in-laws drove 2 hours to help with the Halloween party. We got to enjoy the treat of having them spend the night Friday night! We had so much fun. I am blessed with wonderful in-laws. I always hate to even call them in-laws… there’s just family and they’re great. Unfortunately, Little Lady’s last soccer game was cancelled due to the weather, but the upside is that we got to have a relaxing Saturday morning with Grandma and Grandpa!

This week we have our week long series of Bible lessons in the evening, so dinners need to be quick and simple.

Sunday – Bean tacos with Tex-Mex veggies on the side

Monday – Broccoli Potato soup – (Crock Pot) and Salad

Tuesday – Baked Potato Bar and salad

Wednesday – Miss Spunky’s 7th birthday! She has requested stuffed peppers (crock pot) and ice cream.

Thursday – Homemade veggie pizza with cashew “cheeze” for me

Friday – Company – Undecided???

Saturday – Omelets and fresh fruit

What’s on your menu this week? Who are you extra thankful for this week?