Monday, February 25, 2013

Menu and Miles

Miles This Week:

Menu This Week: (I have some meals that I planned for last week that we did not day we visited a college and ate out, and another day I had several errands to run late in the day, I had done my long run that morning, and I was too tired to cook supper!  So I picked up an Olive Garden salad and breadsticks for our supper)

Monday--lentil loaf (recipe below), mashed potatoes, English peas, cooked kale
Tuesday--(taking a meal to a friend on bedrest--doubling everything so we can eat too!)--roast, green beans, roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower
Wednesday--taco soup
Thursday--potato gnocchi with marinara sauce (both bought from Costco), salad
Friday--penne pasta with baked tomatoes, salad

Lentil Loaf

1 1/2 cups lentils, cooked
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

Saute onions and mushrooms in vegetable broth or olive oil.  When tender, add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.  (I chopped the onion, mushrooms, and spinach in my mini chopper)  Add tomatoes, drained lentils, rice, salt, and garlic powder.  Put into a 9 x 9 glass baking pan.  Mix ketchup and brown sugar in small bowl.  Spread over the lentil loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Please visit OrgJunkie for more menu inspiration.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Weekend

After getting up at 4:30 AM Friday morning, and running 18 miles, I surprisingly still had a productive day.  Usually after a long run I feel icky most of the day, and I always fall asleep reading to the children in the afternoon (Sonlight reading).  This Friday was different, and I am not sure why.  I never got sleepy during school, and I even bought groceries at 8:00 that night!  I tried to eat small snacks throughout the day, and I am guessing that is what helped me to feel better.  Usually on long run days I do not have much of an appetite, but I made myself eat frequently this time.  So if you are reading this and you are training for a marathon, and you feel worthless after your long runs---try making yourself eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. I'll test my theory after my next long run.

My older girls attended a homeschool medieval feast Friday night, and I took them to our beauty shop to "have their hair done" before the feast.  Their hair looked so pretty!  They spent the night with friends, and so our family was down to five.  Then, Saturday morning, Jimmy left for work bright and early (on call for the weekend), and the boys went with Pop to an all day blacksmithing demonstration. After that, they went to pick up an anvil that Clay had bought.  So, it was just Leah and myself for most  of the day.  We attended a housewarming party for a young lady in our church, ate lunch together, and then we went to pick up the other girls.

And then I tackled another major cleaning out project:  Sam's Room.  I actually took some before pictures that I texted to Lynn to show her how messy Sam's room was.  I am too embarrassed to post them!  He had his chest of drawers tied together with a jump rope and a plastic coffee pot (I have no idea!), millions of legos were scattered all over his lego building table, most of his floor was taken up with every GeoTracks piece we own, and I think there were a million stuffed animals here, there, and everywhere!  I found enough random pieces of clothing to equal a full load in my washer.  Lately, his tidying up his room consisted of throwing things in his closet and cramming items on his built in shelves in his room and closet.  A major mess!

I began cleaning while he was still at the blacksmithing event, but I had to finish it after supper.  Actually, I would have never finished it if all three of my girls had not helped me.  I asked them to please help me for just one hour.  They stuck around a little bit longer, and in less than an hour and a half, the room was cleaned out and organized!

When I was putting Sam to bed last night I asked him how he liked his clean room.  He said that he was sad that when he needed something to play with he could no longer just look for it on the floor!  Little boys!  I explained to him that all of his toys had a nice home---inside a labeled box or in a basket on his shelves.  I assured him that he would have no problem finding his toys.

One note--I boxed up lots of little treasures, bits and pieces, odds and ends.  These are things that I consider junk and ready for the trash can, but I was afraid that Sam may ask for them.  So, I put the box of junk (stuff) up high in his closet.  My reasoning is if he does not ask for it by Christmas, I am throwing the entire box away!

I have started new read aloud books with Leah and Sam, and we are in the middle of listening to The Bronze Bow for Clay's school.  I am spending my "reading time" prereading a book about Leonardo de Vinci for Clay's school.  It's not the most exciting book.

This afternoon I made a batch of protein bars while Julie made homemade bagels.  I still have not ground any corn, but I have plans to make homemade corn tortillas and tortilla chips.  Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday.

We have a full, five day school week ahead.  I also have a full week of marathon training, 41 miles in all.  We had school only 3 days last week because of Jimmy's work schedule, so having a 5 day week will allow us to "catch up".  We do not have any out of the home activities this week.  I am very excited about this!  I am planning for us to have a very productive week!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cleaning Out the Pantry...Again

Ok, so y'all know how much I like to clean out and organize!  It seriously is a hobby.  I clean out closets, pantries, entire rooms, and then my lovely family of seven actually lives in this house, and before you know it, I have another clean out and organize project to do again!  I love it!

Today's fun was inspired by these four buckets of grain....

 corn, hard white wheat, soft white wheat, and oatmeal

Up until a few days ago, I had only one grain bucket--hard white wheat.  But I recently bought 25 pounds of oatmeal from a co op order, and I also bought the additional wheat and corn from a friend. I also bought some pretty new gamma lids, and the grain I bought from my friend also had gamma lids on the buckets too. Sooooooo, I had to find a place in my pantry to store these new buckets.

That's what I did today.  I thought it would only take an hour or so, but of course it ended up taking much longer.  Like almost three hours!

Here are some Before pictures:

 No room on the floor for any buckets.

 Stuff crammed in....

 That sign hanging on the shelf reads, "Please keep the pantry clean."  It really wasn't too, bad, but I had to make room for those buckets!

Now here are some After pictures:

 I moved the canned goods up one shelf higher, and I made labels for all of my containers.  I have an assortment of containers, some of which I have had for 18 years or so.  They don't all match, but I can't justify buying all new containers just so they will look cute.  I think the labels bring uniformity to the containers.
That large off-white basket on the left hand side on the floor is holding our chips, pretzels, etc.  All of those things that come in bags.  

A nice home for the buckets

Canned goods, spices, and labeled containers!

I wonder how long it will look this nice?  Today, the children and Jimmy too, all oohed and aahed when they saw the pantry's new look.
I like looking at it too!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We Have a Senior

It is really sinking in now that Olivia is a senior in high school.  Which means that my homeschooling duties are ending.....for one person, but since Sam is a first grader, and there are 3 other children in between them, that I am really only a little more than halfway through my homeschooling career!

Anyway, Olivia will be 18 in April, and graduating from our homeschool the next month.  We gave her an early birthday present a couple of weeks ago--an iPhone!  She was most excited!  Actually, that is an understatement!  She shrieked with delight and disbelief!  She had previously been using the family "Go Phone" when she was away from home, but we knew that eventually she would need a cell phone of her own.  So we got her one for her birthday!

We had the first round of senior pictures made of Olivia last Saturday.  It was a most fun experience.  Uncle Russ, Aunt Megan, and Jimmy were the photography entourage.  Russ and Jimmy took the pictures and took turns holding the big "white board"--something to deflect the light or make the light brighter or something like that--and Megan was the photo stylist.  She posed Olivia, touched up her blush and lip gloss, and adjusted her accessories.  What fun!  It was a freezing cold day, and there were live horses on the property to liven up the photo shoot.  When the horses appeared (and they followed us around--even galloped after our van), I would get inside the van!  Olivia loves all animals, and we got some pictures of her and one of the horses "talking".

The next thing that makes Olivia's being a senior a reality is college!  She plans to attend college next year, and she has narrowed her choices down to three.  She has been accepted to all three, and so now she just has to decide.  We have already visited one campus, and we have visits to the other two campuses scheduled over the next few weeks.  Her choices include (1)  a local community college where she will live at home and either attend classes on campus or take classes online.  (2)  a public university located about 2 hours from our home.  (3) a private college located a long, long way from home.

It's hard to believe that Olivia may be away from home next fall.  Our entire family dynamic will change! The time from rocking a newborn to helping them fill out college applications is so short!  So short!  If you are the mother of one or many small children, remember this--The days are long, but the years are short.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu and Miles

This week's running plan includes 9,6,6, and 18.  Leanna is still running the long and medium runs with me.  The others I do either on the treadmill or outside somewhere around here.  I am really, really missing running with Lynn!  She is doing Insanity (the workout!) right now, so she really doesn't need to be running.  However, she did join us for our 9 mile run last week.  It was great to have her with us!

I am not assigning the days, because Jimmy is off two days this week, and I am not sure what those days will look like.

1.  homemade veggie burgers, mango salsa and chips, avocado/tomato/spinach salad
2.  linguini with zucchini--except that it's going to be spaghetti instead of linguini like the recipe calls for because Kroger did not have whole wheat linguini, and a salad
3.  roasted veggies--carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and boiled new potatoes.
4.  pasta with baked tomatoes and bread crumbs, salad
5.  lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, green peas, roasted asparagus
6.  black bean cakes served with spinach, tomatoes, and corn
7.  stir fry veggies, brown rice

Please visit OrgJunkie for more menu inspiration.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Slept For Eight Hours Last Night

Eight hours.  In a row.  With no interruptions.

That is a milestone for me.  I can't remember that last time I have slept that long!  Jimmy took the kids to his parents' house last night, and so after spending over an hour cleaning up my kitchen (I had made homemade pizza--including the crust,  two loaves of bread, and cinnamon rolls for them to take with them), I got my new book, Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle, and went to bed.  At 9:00!

I read for almost two hours, and then.......sleep!  I can't remember the last time I have felt so rested.  I guess I am extra tired from the marathon training (which includes my getting up to run at 4:30 AM at least once a week--twice this past week), and just life in general.  I usually sleep only 5-6 hours each night.  But now I am caught up!

Today we are celebrating Russ's birthday.  Which means that we get to see Millie Janalee!

I still have groceries to buy, presents to wrap, food to prepare, laundry to put away, etc.  But I am rested and ready!

I am trying two new recipes this week, and if they turn out well I will post them!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Early Start Makes the Difference

This morning my children, all five of them, got up bright and early---all by themselves!  All of them but Sam set their alarms, and Sam woke up spontaneously at 5:50 AM (this was a little bit too early!)  By 6:45, all of the children were up and busy doing chores, and Leah even ran on the treadmill before I had even finished cooking breakfast!

My plan was to begin running at 6:00, be done by 7:00, and then shower and cook breakfast, and supervise everyone's chores, and begin the laundry and start school by 8:00.  That was a little ambitious!  Since Sam woke up just as I was about to get dressed for running, and also since he was not in the most cheerful mood (crying for me to sit with him and not run), I chose to postpone my run and cuddle with Sam.  Good decision!  After he was ready to get up, he cheerfully helped me start the laundry, and then he helped me cook muffins.  He was so proud to have breakfast ready for his siblings.

Since we were all up and ready to go, I began doing school with Sam and Leah at 7:15 while the muffins cooked.  We all ate breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, and were ready to begin our Bible lesson at 8:00!  I was so happy to be starting on time.  We worked really hard all morning, and I am happy to say that we were all done with all of our school before 12:00!  Everything!  What a great accomplishment that was!  I was able to run while the children were eating lunch, and now we have some much needed  free time this afternoon.

I know that this cannot happen every day.  But it sure was a nice school day!  I still have laundry to finish and errands to run.  There is supper to cook and Bible study to get ready for tonight, but still I feel like this day has had so much time!

I'll need to reread this post tomorrow night when I am frazzled!  I have a 9 mile run that I HAVE to do at 5:30 in the morning.  Then school, dentist appointments for Leah and Sam, and then a Valentine's Party to attend at a friend's house.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Menu Monday

Here's the menu:

Saturday:  pasta salad, guacamole and chips (Family Bible Study)
Sunday:  refried beans with homemade tortillas
Monday:  stir fry vegetables and brown rice
Tuesday:  tabbouleh and sweet potato rounds (didn't have this last week)
Wednesday:  gnocchi with spaghetti sauce, salad
Thursday:  vegetable soup, cornbread
Friday:  homemade pizza

You can visit OrgJunkie for more menu ideas and recipes.

Pita Bread
I used the recipe found at this link.  However, only one of my pita breads rose enough to be split.  They all tasted delicious, but I could not split them so they could be stuffed.  So, the next time I bake these I plan to 1--double or triple the recipe and 2--shape the pitas and let them rise first.  Instead of letting the blob of dough rise one hour, shape into pita rounds, let rise a little bit more, and then bake.  I think that shaping them as soon as I mix and knead the dough, and then letting them rise for 45 minutes or so will work better.  I'll let you know as soon as I try it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas

I made tortillas for our lunch today (refried beans and trimmings).  Yes, they were a little bit of work, but all food made from scratch so you know what all the ingredients are require more work than usual!

Here is the recipe I used:

4 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

I mixed all of the ingredients in my Bosch mixer.  I ended up having to knead the dough a little bit by hand too.  Then I shaped the dough into a ball, covered it, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Cut dough into 18-24 pieces, depending on how large you want your tortillas.  Shape into balls, and then roll into circles.  This was harder than it sounds.  Not the actually rolling them out, but shaping them into perfect circles.  I could not get mine to look any better than this.

Cook each flattened tortilla in a skillet on medium high heat for 30 seconds or so per side.  The longer you cook them, the crunchier they become.

I cut some of the leftover tortillas into small strips and baked them on 350 degree convection until they were crispy like chips.  These are yummy too!

As soon as I cleaned up my kitchen from our lunch, I ordered a tortilla press from Amazon.  I want to continue making our tortillas, but I don't want to roll them out into those pitiful circles every time.  The press should arrive on Wednesday, and I will make another batch then.

A note about yesterday's recipe for Chocolate Mint Bars
I decided that it was too much chocolate on top.  Also, I reduced the amount of maple syrup by 2 Tbs. when I doubled the recipe.  The next time I make these bars, I am going to half the recipe (I doubled it originally), and make two batches one right after the other.  I think the bars are easier to mix and cut when made in smaller batches.  I also think that using less chocolate chips will be better too.  So, I plan to use the original amount of maple syrup, and reduce the amount of chocolate chips.  After I make them this way, I will repost the recipe (if it turns out like I want it to).

Happy Cooking!
Next up......homemade pita bread.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mint Chocolate Bars

This recipe is doubled and slightly modified from a recipe called No Bake Peppermint Patty Bar found  on Oh, She Glows website.

4 cups old fashioned oats, ground into flour using a food processor
2 cups nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.) ground finely in the food processor

Put the oats in a bowl while grinding the nuts.  Add oat flour back to the food processor after grinding the nuts.

Add the following to the nuts and oat flour in the processor:

1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

Pulse until mixed.  Then add:

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 almond milk

Mix until the mixture comes together.  It may take 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Spread into a 9 x 13 baking dish. I use waxed paper and press down with my hands.

Melt 1 bag of chocolate chips with 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract and spread over the bars.  Place dish in freezer for 10 minutes.  Then cut the bars and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fun Friday Night

I got up at 4:30 this morning to do my long run (16 miles).  Leanna and I ran most of this run in the rain.  My socks, shoes, gloves, clothes, and hat were soaking wet by the time we finished.  Yuk!

Then I hurried home to do school with the kids (after a long, long hot shower!).  We finished school and lunch and our Sonlight reading by 2:30.  And then I took a nap! Next, I ran a couple of errands and cooked supper.

Sam and Clay are spending the night with Pop so they can go metal detecting in the morning.  The girls are sewing/crafting/playing the piano/singing in the basement.  Jimmy has gone to bed because he worked all night last night and he has to get up very, very early in the morning to go run a marathon.  I am going to bed soon myself!  It's a fun Friday night!

I hope to stay awake long enough to finish yesterday's Bible reading and complete today's as well.  I am in Deuteronomy.  I got two new books from the UPS man yesterday--Mended and He Will Carry You both by Angie Smith.  I also preordered Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle, and it should arrive tomorrow.  I really want to read tonight.  We'll see how long I make it.

Tomorrow's fun includes making a Kroger list and grocery shopping, and gathering/sorting/organizing/etc. papers and such for our taxes.  I plan to drop everything off at the accountant's office Monday.  We also have Family Bible Study tomorrow night, and I will need to cook some food for that.  Oh, and I also want to try my hand at making either homemade pita bread, homemade tortillas, or maybe both1  And I also need to make some more chocolate mint bars.  I will share the recipes that turn out well.

I enjoy weekends like this!  I hope you are having a nice weekend too.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This Time Last Year

1 Chronicles 16:8-9 
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord!

Call upon His name; 
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
 Talk of all His wondrous works!"

One year ago today I went for a repeat mammogram, which led to an ultrasound and a biopsy, all in about three or four hours.  I left my house with the intention of being gone a couple of hours.  A quick mammogram and then a stop by Hobby Lobby before returning home to cook supper.

My life changed that day.

It was the beginning of an anxiety ridden month.  It was also the beginning of a test of my faith.  Did I really believe what I always said?  "Thanksgiving produces joy." Could I really be thankful in all circumstances?  Could I really count my blessings every day?

I could.  I did--some days were hard, but I did.  And I am still thankful.  I have learned so many lessons the past year! My diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent double mastectomy stopped me in my tracks last year.  One year later, there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't think about it.  But with every thought, there is always the thankfulness.  

Habakkuk 3:17 
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls--
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

I am thankful, so very thankful that my cancer was detected early and that surgical treatment was all that I needed.

I am thankful that I recovered so quickly from all of my surgeries and procedures.

I am thankful that I have regained my physical strength, and that I ran a marathon!  And now I am training for yet another marathon. (Yes, I am crazy!)

I am thankful for the outpouring of love and support I received from my husband, my family, my friends, and people that I didn't even know.

I am thankful for all of the prayers offered on my behalf and God's answers to those prayers.

I am thankful for the lessons in compassion that I learned.

1 Thessalonians. 5:17-18 
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Trip to the Dentist

Yesterday our family went to see the dentist for our check-ups.  We love our dentist!  He's my brother!  Rhett graciously blocks out about two hours to see us (except for Leah and Sam---my brother  likes for his patients to be at least 10 years old!).  I use a local dentist for Leah and Sam, and his name is Sam too!

Anyway, since Rhett's practice is on the outskirts of Memphis, we usually either go on into Memphis and do some shopping (Costco or Target), visit Jimmy's brother and his family (Russ, Megan, and Millie Janalee) or visit my brother's family (Rhett, Amanda, Wesley, Davis, and Johnson).  Today we visited Aunt Amanda and her three precious little boys.  Amanda prepared a delicious lunch of black bean and vegetable enchiladas and a salad for us.  It was so yummy!  Then the younger children played and played both inside and outside on the trampoline while the adults and older children visited.  I had not seen Amanda's new schoolroom, and so I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time in there.  It looks like a Pinterest schoolroom!  So pretty and inviting!

We got home just in time for supper and in time for Julie to have a driving lesson with Jimmy.  Yes. Julie has her permit now, and I have two teenage drivers!

Oh!  We are all in the No Cavity Club!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Running Your First 5K

Over the last 2-3 weeks several people have asked me how to begin running and/or how to train for a 5K.  I searched my blog, because I knew that a couple of years ago I wrote about a beginner running plan that I really liked.  I actually wrote this post 3 years ago!  I could not believe it had been that long! 

Here is the article, with a few modifications.

I have read many "beginning runner" type articles in magazines, in books, and online. Recently I found my favorite one of all. It is found in the January/February  2010 issue of Women's Running magazine. Most of the other plans I have seen start off fine, but after a few weeks, they seem to make too big of a jump in the routine. This plan gradually takes you from walking only to only running--over the course of 15 -18 weeks.

If regular exercise is one of your New Year's Resolutions, then I encourage you to follow this plan. All you need is a pair of running shoes and some good socks (not 100% cotton). You don't need a special place to walk/ can run up and down your driveway, around your block, in your subdivision, at your local walking track, on a treadmill, etc. One of the contestants of The Biggest Loser (I think this was in 2009) trained for a marathon (26.2 miles) by running from her front porch to her mailbox....over and over again!

Here's the plan!

Weeks 1-2: walk 30-40 minutes, 3-4 times a week
Begin each week's workout with a brisk 5 minute walk to warm-up
Weeks 3-4: Alternate 1 minute running/3 minutes walking, 7 times
Weeks 5-6: Alternate 2 minutes running/3 minutes walking, 6 times
Weeks 7-8: Alternate 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking, 5 times
Weeks 9-10: Alternate 3 minutes running/2 minutes walking, 6 times
Weeks 11-12: Alternate 4 minutes running/2 minutes walking, 5 times
Weeks 13-14: Alternate 4 minutes running/1 minute walking, 6 times
Weeks 15-16: Alternate 5 minutes running/ 1 minute walking, 5 times

After this, every two weeks add one more minute to your running time until you are running 10 minutes/walking 1 minute. You can eventually build up to continuous 30 minutes of running with no walk breaks, but if walking one minute after running 8-10 minutes helps, continue indefinitely!  When I ran my first half marathon, I walked a minute every mile, which was about equal to running 10 minutes/walking 1 minute. I also trained this way for my first marathon.  For my second marathon, I trained running 1 mile and walking 30 seconds.  For my third marathon (Disney), I trained running 1 mile and walking 1 minute.  For my current marathon training, I am running the first 3 miles, and then walking for 1 minute after every 2 miles. Since I have been running for 6 years now, I can run shorter distances of 6-7 miles and less without any walk breaks, but anytime I am running longer than 7, I take the walk breaks.  It really makes a difference!

The important thing to remember is to try to enjoy the run!  You should be running at a pace that you can talk to someone running beside you.  That's what makes it fun! If you are new to running, I encourage you to find a 5K race in your area.  It is a lot of fun to run a race!  Try to find a friend to sign up, train, and run with you, but even if you can't find someone to run with, try it alone.  You will feel such a sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.  And you will probably get a cool t-shirt!

I hope this plan works for some of you.

Happy Running!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Menu Monday

I cleaned out my storage room yesterday, and while I was down there I also gave the entire basement a good scrubbing.  So, I did not do my weekly grocery shopping yesterday.  I ran by Sam's and Kroger today on my way home from church services....Julie cooked lunch while I was gone.  When I arrived home, everyone was fed, and the kitchen was completely cleaned up by Olivia.  I am so blessed to have such helpful girls---girls who not only can help out, but are also happy to help out!

Here is our menu for this upcoming week.  

Sunday:  potato gnocchi and pasta sauce, homemade bread
Monday:  homemade chicken noodle soup, made using one of Heather's organic chickens!, homemade bread, salad
Tuesday:  white chili, tortilla chips, salad
Wednesday:  burritos (we never had these last week)
Thursday:  tabbouleh, sweet potato rounds
Friday:  roasted vegetables (brussel sprouts, asparagus, squash, mushrooms), green beans, mashed potatoes

1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 squash, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped finely
1/2 carrots, chopped finely
Saute the above ingredients in a small amount of olive oil or vegetable broth until tender.

Mix with the following:
1 can corn, drained
2 cans vegetarian refried beans
2 cups cooked brown rice

flour tortillas

Spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup mixture into each flour tortilla.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Serve with salsa and guacamole.

After these have cooled, you can wrap each burrito individually in plastic wrap and freeze.  We thaw/reheat these in the microwave for a quick lunch.

For more menu inspiration, visit

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Homemade Protein Bars--Again

I have been working on my protein/granola bar recipes lately.  First, I experimented with doubling or tripling each recipe.  Then I decided to combine my two original recipes and calculate the ingredients using an entire 21oz. jar of brown rice syrup and one 16oz. jar of peanut butter.  I did not like dipping out and measuring either the brown rice syrup or the peanut butter.  Too messy!

Here is the finished product.

***I have updated this recipe***
I no longer melt and spread the chocolate chips on top.  Instead, I mix them inside the bars.  So the finished product no longer looks like these pictures.

If you include the protein powder, the total grams of protein in these bars is 350.  If you omit the protein powder, the total protein is 287.  The amount of protein in each bar depends on the size that you cut them.

I have not tried leaving out the chocolate chips or including less chocolate chips by just stirring them in the bar mixture.....those are two more experiments that I may try.  I can't tell if the bars need the melted and then hardened chocolate chips on top to held hold them together.

Here is the recipe.

Protein Bars--Roan's Recipe

6 cups toasted oatmeal
6 cups rice krispie cereal
2 cups chopped nuts (toast with oatmeal if you want)
3/4 cup protein powder (4 scoops of Living Fuel)
1 21 oz. jar brown rice syrup
1 16 oz. natural peanut butter
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips 

Toast oatmeal on shallow baking pans for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Mix oatmeal, rice krispies, protein powder, chocolate chips and nuts in a very large bowl.
Microwave or heat in a saucepan brown rice syrup and peanut butter until slightly melted and easily stirred. Stir in salt and vanilla.
Pour melted mixture over dry ingredients and stir, stir, stir!
Spread into 2 9 x 13  baking dishes that have been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Put the bars in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Cut into small bars, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.  I cut each pan into 20 bars.