Posted in meal plan, Recipes

Meal Plan / Prep | Week of May 29

I’m on summer break!

I’ve been using meal kits for the past month in order to take something off my mental load. Now it’s back to me planning out my meals.

  1. Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cucumber Salad
    Hot Dogs
    Memorial Day Dinner – I know lots of meat but it’ll be okay.
  2. Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms, olive oil mashed potatoes, lemon garlic asparagus
  3. Roasted bratwurst with peppers and onions, garlic Parmesan fries
  4. Cilantro lime chicken with Texas caviar

Lunches – Homemade lunchables: crackers with peanut butter, veggies, hummus, pickles/olives, sweet treat OR crackers, hard salami, cheese, veggies, hummus, pickles/olives, sweet treat

Breakfasts – Yogurt parfait, cottage cheese with jelly, smoothies, granola bars with cheese – QUICK and easy is the name of the game.


Posted in Recipes

This is 48 . . .

This is 48. 

An age that has both intrigued me and scared me. My father died at 48 and my mom had big life changes when she was 48. 

My life and circumstances are different than theirs but 48 has always been a rain cloud over my head. 

I am hoping for adventure and joy in my year 48. I’m dreaming of completing my masters degree. I want my year 48 to have meaning and purpose.

My year 48 is a year to live unapologetically authentic. It’s a year to live out my faith. I don’t know where God is going to take me this year.

Year 48 is a year to create new memories and take thousands of photos.

I know longer want to fear age 48.

This is 48.

Posted in Recipes

Meal Plan 3

This upcoming week has some delicious food. These are some of our family’s favorite meals.

I chose a sweet bourbon pork bratwurst at the local grocery store for the sausage, peppers and onions. You can chose whatever sausage you like best: mild or hot, sweet or savory.

My family loves meatloaf. Making meatloaf muffins makes sure there is portion control. Everyone gets a few meatloaf muffins at dinner. Oldest doesn’t like the meatloaf glaze on his meatloaf, so this helps with his food aversions.

Meal prepping for the week:

  • Cut up the peppers and onions for the sausage and peppers or get the peppers and onions from the freezer section.
  • Make the rice. I do 1 cup rice, 1 & 1/4 cup of water or broth. Cook in Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker for 3 minutes. Allow to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Make the meatloaf muffins and mashed potatoes. Use frozen broccoli for the steamed broccoli to make it an easy meal.
  • Go ahead and make the taco meat. Cut up the lettuce.

Posted in Recipes

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yum! I was looking in the freezer for something the other day when I saw we still had meatballs. One of my favorite dishes is sweet and sour meatballs. When I started my gluten-free journey almost 2 years ago, it was hard to find meatballs that did not contain gluten. I found gluten-free frozen meatballs at Sam’s Club a few months ago. The bag was not cheap. I could justify the price because I could make at least 3 to 4 meals out of the bag.

My hubby does not always like to eat leftovers. This is one of the few dinners I have made that he has told me he looked forward to the leftovers. So, I will say that this is a winner.

What can you serve with this meal?

  1. Rice
  2. Mashed potatoes
  3. Roasted vegetables
  4. Macaroni salad
  5. Steamed peas and carrots

I made the recipe in the Instant Pot, which made it basically a hands-off recipe. You can make the sauce and dice the onions if you meal prep. If you have rice with dinner, you can prep it earlier in the week. This is a winner in my book.

Happy eating,

Posted in Meal prep, Recipes, Vegetarian, Write 31 2018

Sometimes You Need “Beef” Tacos – Day 6 of 31

Original: 10/6/18
Edited: 12/28/22


I’m teaching my students how to write narratives, so I’ve been doing a lot of model writing for them.  A good narrative has a hook that makes the reader want to read your story.  This is a skill that I struggle with when I’m writing my blog posts.

However, it is important for a writer to have a hook to get the reader to read what you have written.

Like a writer needs a hook, sometimes you need a beef taco.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I don’t have the typical beef taco.

I’ve tried TVP, which is textured vegetable protein but usually turns into a brown soupy mess.  Yuck!  Not appetizing.

Then I tried the Beefless Ground Beef along with their soy chorizo.  It’s just the right texture.

“Beef” tacos get into my belly.

What you need:

  • a third of a package of Trader Joe’s “beefless” ground beef
  • a third of a package of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo
  • a third of a jar of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce

“Beef” Tacos

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/3 of a package of Trader Joe’s “beefless” ground beef
  • 1/3 of a package of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo; make sure to take off the casing
  • 1/3 of a jar of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (You may need a little more than the third.)
  • Tortillas (hard or soft)
  • Your favorite toppings


  1. Combine the “beetles” ground beef, soy chorizo, and enchilada sauce in a saucepan.
  2. Cook on medium heat until heated through. Add more sauce if it’s not coated enough.)
  3. Enjoy on a tortilla with your favorite toppings.

This recipe is vegan before you add your toppings.

Happy vegetarian eating,

Posted in Meal prep, Recipes, Vegetarian, Write 31 2018

Better than Restaurant Oven Home Fries – Day 7 of 31 (Sheet pan recipe)

Original: 10/7/ 18
Edited: 12/28/22

Meal Prep
Kid Friendly

While I was sick with my gallstones last year,  I had one food that did not bother my stomach. Okay, it did bother me if it was greasy, but if it was cooked with no oil or grease, I had little to no problems.

Potatoes were my friend during those 4 months. I would spiralize potatoes and then cook up like hash browns on the stove.

That is until I started to cook the home fries in my oven. We love a roasted potato in the household, so this made things much easier.

Hubby might debate if these potatoes are better than the ones we get at a local breakfast place called Butter Cafe. He adores their home fries.

What you need:

  • 2 red potatoes or 4 to 5 baby red potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder or your favorite seasoning

Better than Restaurant Oven Home Fries

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 red potatoes, cubed or 4 to 5 baby red potatoes, quartered, or even cut into eighths
  • 1/2 to 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 to 1 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder or your favorite seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes, bell pepper, and onion on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the veggies. Using clean hands or a spatula, ensure the veggies are covered with the oil.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning over the veggies.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 425 degrees.
  6. Enjoy!

I enjoy using the onion salt from Trader Joe’s on my potatoes.

We love to use sriracha ketchup from Red Gold on our fries and roasted potatoes.

This recipe is not only vegetarian but also vegan. Score!

Happy vegetarian eating,

Posted in Meal prep, Recipes, Vegetarian, Write 31 2018

Snack Boxes – The Hard Boiled Egg Version (Vegetarian Meal Prep) – Day 4 of 31

Original: 10/4/18
Edited: 12/27/22

Gluten-Free (if using gluten-free crackers)
Meal Prep

If I don’t plan what to eat during the week, I feel out of sync.

There are some weeks that I know that all I will be able to eat is snacky food.  Foods that I can eat while working at my desk or even sometimes between students.

Here’s one idea for a snacky-type snack box.  I call it my Hard Boiled Egg version.

I’m a vegetarian but not a vegan.  I still eat dairy and eggs.


What You’ll Need for these Snack Boxes:

  • Hard-boiled egg(s) – Store bought or made at home – Instant Pot or oven method 
  • Hummus – Homemade or Store bought
  • Your favorite snacking veggie – sliced cucumber, snap peas, carrot sticks, celery sticks.
  • Slices of cheese
  • Mini Croissants, crackers, or some other carb
  • A container to put the snack in, cupcake wrappers (silicone or paper), and small containers to put the hummus in

To assemble the Snack Box:

  • Place in the container.  I used the cupcake wrapper for the egg to separate it from the rest of the food.  You can leave the peel on or off.  It really does not matter.
  • I put the mini croissant in a small sandwich bag to keep it fresh.
  • The hummus was placed in a small container I purchased at the dollar store.
  • Use within 4 days.

When you make hard-boiled eggs, it is best to use the eggs that have been in your fridge the longest but are not expired.

Happy vegetarian eating,