Archive | save money RSS feed for this section

knowledge is power

20 Jul

It seems that the Candwich got quite a rise out of you guys this morning!  Can you even believe it?  What will they come up with next?  It really just made me sad when I first saw it.  It seems that there is sometimes no concept of understanding in our country about how to eat healthy food that is medicine to the body rather than poison.

After I posted this morning, I was on the Candwich website, and there is a video of an Australian morning show interviewing the CEO of Candwich.  One particular question they asked him was what the nutrition profile was of this new product.  My ears perked up!  He replied “well, it has about 450 calories once you put it all together.”

Doh.

That’s it.  That’s the only nutritional info he felt was important to provide.


What about the ingredients?
Or how much protein?
Or what about how much sodium??

Nada.  Just 450 calories.  What a deal, right?

One thing I just learned in the past couple of years is how to read ingredient lists.  In the past I would never even look at the ingredient list on products…I just went by whatever the product said on the front.  Scary!  Now I always check out the ingredient list on any product before I even think about buying it.  You’d be amazed at what’s in some of the stuff we are so accustomed to eating! Even things as simple as peanut butter have sugar and oils that you don’t even think about.  Btw…Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter is my favorite!  And I’m not getting paid to say that 😉

Basically, if you can’t pronounce it…you don’t want to put it in your body! Always go for ingredients that are whole foods…as close to the ground as possible.  And really…it’s always best to just skip the middle aisles in the store as much as possible and stick to the perimeter for fresh produce and whole foods.

Rant over.

As I’ve mentioned, Jon and I are really trying to cut down on our budget.  You know, since I quit my job and all;)

Anyway, we’re trying not to go to the grocery store until the end of the month, even though we are out of almost everything!  So I decided to challenge myself tonight by creating a dish using only the random ingredients we had in the cabinets.

The result?

The thing that comes to mind as I post this pic is a song I often attach to certain things I love…and sing it loud…all around the house.  Drives Jon crazy. muahahaha 🙂

I’d sing it for you if I could.  Actually I could post a video…but I’d like to have you guys hang around for awhile.  So, I won’t.

But this meal was simple.  Simply EPIC that is!

Ingredients

8 – 10 red potatoes
1/2 large onion
1 cup frozen edamame
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or fresh if you aren’t lazy like me:)
3 tbsp evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
1/2 tbsp basil
1 tsp rosemary

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
3.  Cut potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces and place in large casserole dish
4.  In a small bowl, mix olive oil, seasoned salt, basil and rosemary
5.  Pour oil mixture over potatoes and stir until potatoes are coated
6.  Chop onion into medium sized pieces and add to dish.  Stir well.
7.  Add tomatoes, frozen edamame and chia seeds.  Stir well.
8.  Roast for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Serve alongside your favorite steamed veggie!  Makes about 4 – 6 servings.

The one problem is that I can’t seem to come up with a name for this dish.  I’m stumped!  Any ideas??

I also snacked on a slice of Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter about an hour befor din.

Well, I’ve gotta hit the mat and get some PiYo practice in before bed tonight.  I hope you all are having a lovely week so far!

What do you think I should name my potato dish?

Do you pay a lot of attention to ingredient lists?  What caused you to start thinking about what was in your food rather than just trusting the slogan on the front of the box?

On that note, have you read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan?  I love this book, and I really think it is crucial for everyone to read.  It made me really understand how twisted the food system in our country is.  Not to be a negative Nancy, but we have to watch out for and take care of ourselves! Ya know?

Advertisements

comfort food + chia giveaway winners revealed

12 Jul

Jon and I had great intention of running a 5k this morning, but we have a bad habit of chattin’ it up so much that our running suffers.  We ended up running/walking 2.54 miles in about 35 minutes .  Obvs. there was a lot of walking involved.  o’well…at least we were up and moving!

By the time we got back, I had to rush around to get out the door on time!

green monster to-go please!!

2 handfuls spinach, 1.25 cups soy milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, chia seeds, ice

Need. Bigger. Cup. (I’m hardcore like that;)

After my orthodontist appointment (hi, I’m Candice and I’m 13 years old) I ran through S-bucks for a decaf soy latte.  I have cut down on my Starbucks runs exponentially; it’s funny how much better it tastes when it’s a rare treat. Totally worth every last cent today.

After a quick stop at the mall to do an exchange, I headed home for lunch.  Sweet Jon had it all prepared for me

Sunflower sprouts make their debut!  hooray!

whole wheat pita with hummus, Morningstar black bean burger, broccoli slaw and sunflower sprouts

with a side of juicy watermelon that I picked up last night

one of my thousand new obsessions.

And several hours of work later I dug into this new container of Sabra hummus with baby carrots.  Does anybody know how baby carrots came to be?  Do they grow them that way?  Curious minds want to know!

love me some carrots and hummus

Tonight I was in the mood for some comfort food because I received some bad news.  The ESL teaching job I told you guys I landed last week fell through. She called today and said that there had been some kind of hiring freeze and that they weren’t going to be able to hire me after all.  Sad:(  It hit me pretty hard because I was counting on that being a sure thing when I resigned from my job.

I’m trying to stay positive regardless of what happens.  I know that God will provide, and I know everything will work out for the best…I just have to have faith.

Someone quoted the following on twitter last week.  Please tell me if you know who it was because I can’t find where I wrote it down!

“This week shall rock!  I’m going to hold steady and strong at not digging up in doubt what I planted in full on faith.”

This has been my mantra since I read it last week…I keep repeating it to myself every time I start to sink into doubt.  I can’t lose hope the second things don’t go as expected.

Onwards and Upwards!

So, back to the comfort food.  I’ll give you 1 guess as to what comfort food was calling out to me.

You got it

Our specialty: homemade enchiladas.

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • black beans
  • rotel tomatoes
  • soy cheese
  • Roll tortillas up and place in a baking dish
  • Pour canned green enchilada sauce over entire dish
  • Bake to perfection at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes

**We make six at a time because they are great for leftovers!

All jokes aside about our obsession with Mexican food...if you like enchiladas, you MUST make these.  They are like biting into a little piece of heaven.  No kidding.  You can make any variation – spinach, beans, cheese and onion or a mix of all three!  Let me know if you try them out, and I’ll post ’em on the blog!

In an effort to save money this month, I decided to make a big batch of homemade salsa since we eat it like it’s goin’ out of style.  Below is the recipe I came up with tonight, but I think it still has room for improvement.  Let me know if you have any ideas for alterations!

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 jalapeno pepper, seeds and all!
  • ~ 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • small handful cilantro, chopped

Process until it reaches the consistency you prefer.  Eat up!

There are millions of different ways to make salsas – peach salsa, chipotle salsa, black bean and corn salsa, the list goes on and on…

Jon and I prefer just basic, spicy salsa – we’re not crazy about all the add ins.  I’m excited to experiment with this a bit more.

Okay, okay, now for what you’ve all been waiting for.  I selected the winners using True Random Number Generator from random. org.

Drumroll please.

The winners of the chia seeds so graciously donated by Monterey Bay Spice Company are….

Rhea from Happy Greek Feaster

and

Amber from SAHM’s Musings

Congrats Rhea and Amber.  Email me your information, and we’ll get your chias shipped asap!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  And a very special thanks to Monterey Bay Spice Company for being our lovely sponsor.  Hop over and check out their website when you get a chance.  Chia seeds are only the beginning of their amazing products!

That’s all for tonight, friends.  Hope you all had a fantastic Monday!

What kind of salsa is your favorite?  Any tips to improve my recipe?  I’m all ears!!

a family affair

13 Jun

Today started off with a bang when Jon and I headed outside for a sweltering 20 minute run/walk.  It has been so hot and humid here – it’s nearly unbearable.   I think I might be hitting the gym to spend some time with the big T tomorrow morning.

I inhaled a bowl of this new (to me) cereal with chopped banana and soy milk.  The verdict?  Amazing.  Exactly what I’ve been looking for in a cereal;)

We were busy bees today as we went to church and then headed to my hometown for my little cousin, Addie’s, 15th birthday party.  Before heading out, I reheated the second half of my leftover vegetarian burrito from Chipotle.  I refuse to post a pic of it due to the fact that it was probably the most offensive looking meal I’ve photographed since the beginning of time ChiaSeedMe.  I’ll let you use your imagination:)  I also was later accused by my loving husband of violating the “no eating out for a week challenge agreement,” but I set the record straight.

Instead, please enjoy a few pics of my beautiful, if not a bit goofy, little cousin.

And now for a funny tidbit about my cousins.  Addie’s brother, Ashton, just graduated from high school a year ago and has now finished his first year of college.  During high school he was the cool guy emo type, dressing in skinny jeans, rocker shirts and converse.  Over the past year, however, he has made this out-of-the-blue transformation into mister country boy (also the name of the grocery store in my hometown).  In this process he has aquired a coon dog named Red, about 5 chickens, 8 baby chicks and two cows.  Yes, cows.  So, today I was lucky enough to get to meet two thirds of his new brood.

This little guy not to be confused with the baby chick I bought on a whim during my crazy freshman year of college, only for it to die a matter of weeks later and be buried on our campus library lawn after being held hostage in a cardboard box in my bedroom.  Please don’t judge.  I feel bad enough already.

After touring the “farm,” eating some fresh fruit served by my aunt, watching Addie open her gifts, Jon and I made the trek back to Stillwater.  This is where I must brag just a bit.  By the time we left my aunt’s house, we were famished!  Usually we would have no doubt stopped at the Subway on our way out of town or at least grabbed a lil something on our way back into town.  But we held strong and waited until we arrived back home before cooking up our famous vegan enchiladas (recipe here).  Pat us on the back!

So far, we have succeeded in our “no eating out challenge.”  Today, we passed up dinner out and Starbucks, which must already by a savings of about $30.  Crazy.

Well, that’s all for tonight.  Stay tuned for tomorrow as I’ll be back to posting vacation recaps!  G’night!

we're back! and a challenge

12 Jun

Well, we made it back from vacation safe and sound a couple of days ago, and aside from me being deathly ill the day after everything is going just great.  I am loving not having to commute to work everyday!  I feel more at ease and less overwhelmed than I have in I don’t know how long.  I finally feel back to myself, and I’m soaking it up.

Sadly, I had to basically drop off the face of the blog world for the rest of vacation because our Paris hotel did not have free wifi.  Actually, there was a “mac station” in the lobby which you could use for twenty minutes.  That’s right, twenty whole minutes!  I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t even have been able to get my photos uploaded in that amount of time.  Plus, the keyboard was not an American keyboard so the letters were all in crazy places, so typing even a one line email took an eternity.  Needless to say, I was out of touch.

I still will be posting a recap of each day – I’m planning on putting up one post each day this week, in addition to my daily posts.  So, don’t be confused…I am officially back on American soil:)

Today has been a blissful day.  From sleeping in this morning to finishing my current read, “American Wife,” to working in the yard, shopping at the health food store, cleaning the house and just spending glorious time with my sweet J, it couldn’t have been a better Saturday.  I’ve also enjoyed some delicious food.

For lunch I decided to pull together a variation of the meal in this post by Caitlin.  I added frozen peas, corn and rinsed/drained black beans to a skillet and sauteed until thawed.  Next I added two heaping spoonfuls of hummus plus a sprinkle of ground red pepper and mixed it up.

In the meantime I smeared a tad bit of hummus on a whole wheat tortilla and added some broccoli slaw and alfalfa sprouts.

All together now!

Delicious – with a side of cherries.

For dessert, Jon and I each had a little something that he created for my raging sweet tooth a couple of weeks ago:)  A brown rice cake slathered with Maranatha dark chocolate almond butter, aka perfection.

I also snacked on some blue corn chips and salsa this afternoon.  Do they have a support group for people who have a serious addiction to chips and salsa?  I need help!

I’m off to work on cleaning out our office.  I’m still trying to decide on what’s for dinner.  There is nothing more fun than getting back from vacation and getting the fridge stocked with great food.  The only problem now – there are too many awesome choices I can’t decide what to make!!

One other thing I need to mention.  Jon and I have decided to take on a challenge.  This is serious people.  You see, we have developed a seemingly uncontrollable love for eating out.  For the past month (or maybe more:), we have eaten out SO much!  Generally we eat at healthy places, but our bank account sees little difference between pizza and veggies.

So, we are challenging ourselves to go a full week without eating out.  Starting tomorrow (Sunday) and going through next Sunday, we will be eating at home.  And this means no Starbucks as well (eek!).  We figure it will be a good way to rediscover how much we love eating at home and how much money we can save in the process.  I’ll be posting all of my meals for the next week, so you guys have to help keep us accountable!  Do you think we can do it?

How much do you/your family eat out?

Do you prefer eating out or making food at home?

It’s so good to be back:)

basic pasta sauce

27 Mar

Don’t forget to enter my chia seed giveaway that is going on – only 6 more days!

Happy weekend everyone!  How has your Saturday gone?  I love Satudays, and this one has not disappointed.

Jon and I slept in this morning, and then got up and headed out to our favorite running spot.  We have a small “lake” out north of town that has a 3.1 mile asphalt path all the way around it.  We actually did most of our marathon training out there last year.  Anytime we mention to someone that we once ran around it over 6 times they think we’re crazy.  And we probably are.

Anyways, we only made it around once today.  The wind was blowing about 30 miles per hour, and coming off the lake it was chilly!  But I have to say it felt great.  I have been having a hard time getting motivated for running lately, and I think I needed a good, solid, happy run to cure me!

We didn’t get going until about 11am, so I decided I need a little carb boost for energy.  I popped about 5 of these little guys

High in carbs and all the sugars are natural.  No added sugar for this girl!

A couple hours later we decided to hit up Panera for lunch.  Since it was about 1’clock and I’d had almost nothing to eat all day (so abnormal for me!), I upped the ante a bit and went for a pick two: half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich (hold the feta please!) and a cup of black bean soup.  Against my initial better judgment I also had a whole grain baguette.  I guess my body needed the carbs!

After lunch I spent a little extra time at Panera getting some grading done while Jon went home to work on some design projects.  I have to say that grading is by far my least favorite part of teaching.  Getting through those essays was brutal today, and I still have half of them left!  Guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow afternoon:(

One afternoon of grading, a Starbucks soy latte, and some Lost watching later, we decided to cook up some dinner.  Tonight was another “eatin’ cheap” creation.  Very simple – “Basic Pasta Sauce.”

Ingredients:

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
3-5 button mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
minced garlic
italian seasoning
oregano

Add chopped onion and garlic to skillet and cook until onion starts to get soft.  Next, add diced tomatoes, both cans of tomato sauce, chopped mushrooms, 1 tbsp italian seasoning and 1 tbsp oregano.  Mix together, then cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

While this is not a ground-breaking recipe, I love it because it is so fast, easy, cheap and it pleases the palate.  Leaving the meat out of the sauce reduces cost, and bulking it up with veggies is great for taste and satiety! If cooking only for myself, I would have added some chopped squash and zucchini, but Jon isn’t a fan so we stuck with mushrooms and onions.

Jon poured his sauce over whole wheat spaghetti, and I went with bulgur as my base.  Often times I’ll sub in bulgur for spaghetti because it has fewer calories and has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.

I also had a side salad of mixed greens, chopped carrots, cucumber, onions and chia seeds with balsamic poured over the top along with garlic bread – aka ezekiel toast with Earth Balance vegan butter, garlic powder and nutritional yeast.

This piece of toast x 3.

This meal really filled me up with all the volume foods and veggies!

We are off to rent a movie we’ve been wanting to see called Brothers.  Has anyone seen it?  What movies have you guys seen lately that you loved?  I’m always up for suggestions!

Mexican Fiesta Pasta

23 Mar

Hi!

Whew!  Today has been kind of crazy.  Do you ever have those days where it seems that everything seems to go wrong?  Well, that was today all the way up until 5pm when I arrived home from work.  Enough about it, though, no need to carry it on!

I just have to say, first of all, thanks so much to all of you who have been stopping by and checking out CSM.  Next to seeing my sweet husband, blogging is one of the highlights of my day.  So, when I see that people are swinging by it thrills me to no end!  I would love to hear from each of you in the comments, so that I can know who all is out there!  Please drop me a line if you get a chance!  Don’t be shy:)

And thanks so much to those of you who have been dropping me a line – you totally make my day!

Sorry guys, but lunch today was kind of a repeat.  I love taking leftover for lunch, so when I have a large batch of something, such as Veggie-tel, I kill it!  I did swap out the apple for a pear – just to add a little excitement.  Oh, and threw in some chopped avocado as well.  Somehow I forgot it yesterday.  Doh!

I snacked on some baby carrots and sliced cucumber right after school today.  I had to hold one little hoodlum after in detention.  I threatened him with his life had a good little chat with him, so I’m hoping tomorrow is the last day we’ll spend time together after school.  Somebody’s gotta keep these kids in line! These veggies held me over until my real snack on the commute home – a banana and a brown rice cake slathered with cashew butter.  My cashew butter is almost out, which is not good considering the new budget implementations.  Good ole’ PB will have to come to my rescue.  It’s never a bad thing to get back to the basics I suppose.

Speaking of budget implementations, yesterday I promised a budget friendly delicious meal, and I definitely can’t go back on a promise.  So, without further ado…

Mexican Fiesta Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 cans rotel (generic works great!)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can chili beans, rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, no salt added
  • 1 12 oz. pkg whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tbsp ground red pepper (or to taste)  – I douse it!
  • 1 tbsp cumin

Directions

  • Cook pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, dump everything else in a large pot (yes, everything else!)
  • Let mixture cook through while pasta is boiling
  • Drain pasta and add to mixture

That’s it!  That’s one of the many joys of this meal.  It takes all of about 15 minutes to make.  It’s clean.  It’s delicious.  It’s cheap.  Doesn’t get much better.

One thing I’d like to mention, considering this recipe has a lot of canned goods that go into it, is to be very careful when picking out your canned items.  When I first started eating clean, I realized how many random things like sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup etc. can come in things as simple as a can of corn or beans.  There are definitely versions that are clean, you just have to look for them. I often buy Great Value because most of their canned beans, such as black, are pure and simple…they way we like it!

Well, that’s all for tonight!  I’m off to respond to a couple of emails and then hit the sack!  Hope you all had a fantastic day:)