saving time // grocery shopping tip

One simple step I’ve been trying to take lately is to bag the items I buy at the grocery store according to where I need to store it when I get home. Since cloth bags are *the thing* these days, it makes it so much easier.

bags labelledI’ve found this saves me time when I’m unpacking and shelving and storing everything when I get home. With four kids and many things on the go, every minute saved on routine tasks is a huge blessing.

How about you? Do you pack your own groceries at the store? Do you have a time-saving method for getting everything stored away. Please share!

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Leng’s salad (vegan, gluten-free, peanut free option)

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As promised, here’s the post I promised which features one of my favorite sauces that pairs well with many dishes. Although the National Day of Peanut Butter may have passed, peanut butter lovers know that any day is a good day to enjoy this nutty legume. (For those with allergies and non-peanut butter lovers, you can sub in almond butter).

I call this recipe Leng’s Salad in honor of a woman our family got to know a couple of years ago. She and her family were refugees we had the privilege mentoring for a short time. While they’ve since moved away, every time I make this salad, I think of how much they enjoyed it at our home. Given that they’re Asian and this is an Asian inspired recipe, I wasn’t sure if it would fly or flop. But it was a hit. 🙂

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As with most salads, this is a mix-and-match, add-what-you-like-best free for all. When I want a super quick version, I’m even content with two of these ingredients – usually kale and cabbage. This usually is a crowd pleaser (unless you have a picky crowd or your “crowd” includes humans under the age of “skeptical about most vegetables), so be brave and try it out at your next potluck.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Leng’s Salad recipe

Leng’s Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

    For the Salad

    • kale, destemmed, roughly chopped
    • red or green cabbage, roughly sliced or shredded
    • carrots,peeled into strips or shredded*
    • green onions, finely sliced
    • sunflower seeds

    Additional mix-in/combination options:

    • cauliflower, roughly chopped
    • sweet potato fries, diced*
    • rutabaga, diced
    • raw brussel sprouts, finely sliced or shredded
    • brown rice pasta*
    • red pepper, finely sliced

    621 Thai Dressing (makes 5-6 servings)

    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
    • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
    • 6 tablespoon coconut aminos
    • 5-8 tablespoon almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
    • 6 tablespoons peanut or almond butter

    Instructions

    For the Salad

    Chop all ingredients into bite-sized pieces. If using cabbage, slice thinly. Mix well.

    For the Dressing

    Add all ingredients to a jar and stir or shake until thoroughly mixed. Add more almond milk if needed or for desired consistency.

    Recipe Notes

    I didn’t list quantities with the salad ingredients because salads are so flexible. Just adjust your portions as needed. Generally, one full handful of combined ingredients = 1 side salad portion and two-three handfuls work for a main course salad portion.

    *Omit these options and sub in almond butter in the dressing for the strict portion of the candida diet and/or for a paleo-friendly salad

    I opted to create this dressing recipe using garlic and ginger powered because it’s quick and easy. Most days I would not have the patience to mince the garlic or ginger for the dressing. I recommend using organic powdered ginger or a brand that does not add sulfur.

    You might want to start with adding 5 T of your non-dairy milk to start and then add more until you get the desired pouring consistency. This dressing will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add a little more milk the next day. I’m not sure how another type of non-dairy milk will affect the taste or consistency.

    When I sub in almond butter, I usually use roasted almond butter, either chunky or smooth. Raw almond butter would work too, but it might affect the taste/consistency.

    The dressing keeps well for several days in the fridge. I often will make up a jar and then pour it over my salads all week.

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    national day of peanut butter // january 24

    I’m not sure why we need a national day dedicated to, well, anything, or why January 24 was selected as the day in which to celebrate peanut butter, but it’s fun so we’ll go with it.

    While many countries don’t get the North American affinity for this spread and it’s potential to cause highly allergenic reactions, you have to admit this is one versatile condiment! I’m hard pressed to think of another that can comfortably pull up a seat at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table and stick around for dessert and snack time.

    In college a friend and I had a theory that peanut butter went with pretty much anything. So we put the theory to the test.

    We were not disappointed.

    The most surprising discovery? Peanut butter + green pepper. Weird, but it works.

    So in honor of National Peanut Butter Day, here’s a mini round-up of four recipes with peanut butter as the star:

    ants on a log
    snack time: ants on a log
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    beverage: peanut butter milkshakes

     

    calico brownies
    dessert: calico brownies
    peanut butter banana jumblelaya
    snack time: peanut butter banana jumblelaya

     

    Next week, I’ll post one of my favorite recipes with a peanut butter-based sauce that pairs well with Asian cuisine and that I use most often on a crunchy raw salad.

    What are your favorite peanut butter based recipes? Favorite peanut butter memories from childhood? And…crunchy or creamy?

     

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    project pare, where I’ve been, where I’m headed

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    Yes I’ve been a little MIA here. Summertime, and a season to adjust to all kids in school and a new job for my husband and well, the days quickly add up to months which usher in a new year.

    Not that I will rehash the last six months in detail, but generally, I’ve been doing much thinking and praying about this site and where God would use me and the time He’s provided. So in addition to dusting off these pages, I’m also inching toward the goal of applying my life coaching certificate to helping people reach their healthy eating, fitness and financial goals. That’s where I’ve been and where I’m *hopefully* headed, in a nutshell.

    Now onto Project Pare.

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    I’ve continued to work at streamlining my meal planning and shopping list creation approach. Though I haven’t exactly scrapped this idea, neither have I used it, because I ran out of enthusiasm while waiting to find a cheap, eco-friendly solution to apply it weekly. The inner perfectionist in me rears it’s ugly head once again.

    So I opted for a low-tech approach by handwriting my menu and shopping list weekly on scraps of paper. Sometimes low tech just works better. It’s certainly helped me improve on ensuring all the items needed for the week make it onto the grocery week, but I still think I can improve on reducing the time I spend on this task.

    Here’s my goal: Take just a few hours one day a month to create a monthly meal plan complete with weekly grocery shopping lists.

    So how about you…do you plan out your meals? How far in advance? Do you prefer pen & paper to plan or do you use technology? If you’re a techie meal planner, what apps or websites do you like best?

    If you don’t plan meals currently, would you invest in some coaching if you knew it would save you time and money in the long run?

    And…share 🙂

     

     

     

     

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