Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cilantro Lime Black Bean Quesadillas

These babies have become a STAPLE in our meal planning. I would say we have them at least every other week, if not every week! They are such a quick and simple meal, and PACKED full of protein so they keep those little tummies full longer.


Cilantro Lime Black Bean Quesadillas:

2 c. Black Beans
1 c. Frozen Corn
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Bunch of Cilantro, roughly chopped
3 drops Lime Essential Oil*
2 c. Shredded Cheese
12 Fajita size Tortillas
optional: Plain Greek Yogurt for dipping
*I use Young Living Essential Oils. They are therapeutic grade and safe to ingest. You may also use the juice of 1 lime*






Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all your ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add a 1/3 c. filling to each tortilla and fold it in half. Arrange on a non-stick cookie sheet. On the top rack, cook 3-5 minutes on each side until crispy and the cheese is melted. Serve warm & ENJOY!!!! 


Notes: You can use canned black beans here, but I used dried black beans that I freeze into 2 c. servings for meals. I will go into depth on my process in an upcoming post.

What would YOU like to see me cover? Do you have any questions? Leave me a comment below.

Courtney

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) really has it's challenges, but the most challenging part , among SO MANY other things, is definitely budgeting for me. I have been staying home now for 2 1/2 years and still have yet to really create....and stick to...a firm budget for our family.
I definitely felt as if I was called to live a more natural lifestyle after the birth of our last child for more reasons than one, and with that decision we have had quite a few blessings. One of them being SAVING MONEY! We started making as much as we could from scratch and buying in bulk when we could. Just making these few simple changes has not only saved us money, but we don't buy all that junk from the store anymore...a cleaner product that costs LESS?!?! YES PLEASE! With that being said I wanted to share with you one simple change that you can make. Homemade Taco Seasoning. You can find all the ingredients at your local grocery store. The recipe below makes only one batch, but I tend to make about 6 at a time and store in an airtight container. It makes meal prepping a bit quicker, and when you are ready to use it just measure out about 2 T.


Taco Seasoning:

1 T. Chili Powder
1 t. Smoked Paprika
1 t. Cumin
1/8 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 t. Oregano
1/2 t. Real Salt
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1/2 t. Corn Starch
*adapted from THIS recipe*

We use this probably once a week on our favorite meal Cilantro Lime Black Bean Quesadillas and the kids love it! This recipe is very mild in heat, but you can easily add more heat by doubling the Cayenne and/or Black Pepper, or reducing as need for less heat.
What is your favorite meal that you use Taco Seasoning in? Leave it below in the comments. I will be sharing our FAVORITE recipe shortly, so make sure to check back often.

Courtney



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

In the past two years, I have decided to make a change for the better. I eat more whole foods and I try to live as organically as possibly!!!!!! I LOVE it! My favorite part is making as much as I can from scratch. Not only is it normally cheaper, in the long run, to do so, but it also is better for you and you KNOW what all the ingredients are. That is definitely a plus in my book.
One day I was watching 17 and counting (or 18, 19, 20...IDK where they were at at this point...lol) and they were making their own detergent...AWESOME! They mentioned that for 5 gallons of it, the cost was mere PENNIES per load. I thought to myself "and why isn't EVERYONE doing this?" You can't get any better than that! So the next time I went to the store, I picked up all the ingredients. I have adapted their recipe just a tad for a little more laundry POWER and slight scent and I think I like it more than the original. So here is goes!


DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT: 

1 bar of soap*
2c. Borax 
2c. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda 
Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional) 
Lavender Essential Oil (optional) 
5 gallon bucket with lid water kitchen gloves (optional) 
Paint Stir Stick or Long Handled Spoon 

*Fels Naptha is my favorite, but Ivory or Kiss My Face works as well


1. Grate the whole bar of your chosen soap. You can use a cheese grater, but I use my Microplane because it is SO MUCH FASTER!!!! Sorry I don't have a picture of this step :(
2. In a medium saucepan, fill about halfway with water. Add your grated soap and set to low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until all the soap has melted. Try not to stir too vigorously or you will cause bubbles.


3. While you are waiting for your soap to melt in the saucepan, run your tap water as hot as it will go and fill your 5 gallon bucket half way. Add both your Borax and Washing Soda to the water and stir. I use and old long handled spoon to stir (you wouldn't want to use it while cooking again after making this soap BTW) or you can use a paint stir stick.







 4. Once the Washing Soda and Borax have dissolved and your soap has melted, add the soap mixture to the bucket and stir.


5. Once again run your tap water as hot as it will go and fill your bucket up the rest of the way.


6. Add 30 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and 50 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. This step is optional, but I enjoy the smell overall smell of the laundry soap when done!



7. Stir everything well and walk away!!!! Your pretty much done at this point...
8. There is no set time here, but every so often you'll want to mix your soap as it cools down. As it cools, it is going to thicken up considerably and the more often that you mix it, the smoother it will be. However, even if you forget to stir, you can always break up the clumps later. I normally make mine early evening and by the time I go to bed it's about 80% cooled and I just give it one more stir when I wake up in the morning and then your good to go!





You now have FIVE GALLONS of laundry soap!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!! With my family of five, that normally lasts us about 6ish months, so for what you spent to make it....it is DEFINITELY worth it!
I have a pitcher that I keep some in by my washer and dryer, so that you don't have to dip into the bucket each time...or keep that big ole' thing in your laundry room taking up space. When I wash I use roughly 1/4c. and that works great. It cleans wonderfully too because of the Borax (since it's a laundry booster).
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask...thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check back often for more simple DIY solutions, recipes, and health inspiration!

{Courtney}