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It’s Fall Y’all


Fall is finally here. I know, I know… I haven’t posted since spring but being the ringmaster of this circus I call home has been complete chaos. We’re about 3 weeks into our school year and kids are well into their activities. YaYa (my 12 year old) is actually playing in the band this year (the flute) at the middle school near us. I think it’s pretty dope how they’re letting home schooled kids participate in extra curricular activities.
In other news, my baby sister got married a couple weekends ago so the family and I got to take a road trip to Georgia for that, spent some quality time with my siblings, had our typical dysfunctional family moments and witnessed the beautiful union of my sissy and new brother in law.

Now that we’re back to “real life”…. school, home… kids trying to murder each other ever 9 minutes, I figured I’d start blogging again and admit it, y’all missed me…or whatever. I am super geeked that it is fall. This is definitely my favorite season… Cooler weather, hoodies, bonfires, pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING and of course those fall dishes that just warm you right up. And y’all know I love to cook! 

To start the season off right I had to make my  vegetarian chili. It’s a family fave, just the right amount of spicy and just feels so good. AND, something else dope…I served the chili in little pumpkins, saving the seeds to roast tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ll post a recipe for that as well. But for now, here’s the vegetarian chili recipe. Hope y’all enjoy, let me know how yours turns out if you make it and/or any adjustments you have made, but not too many adjustments… Don’t be messin up my chili y’all. Oh and don’t forget, most recipes I post are for my family size so half it if you need to.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 3 cups diced onion
  • 4 tbs minced fresh garlic
  • 5 Serrano peppers (remove seeds or keep them in if you can handle the heat)
  • 2 large zucchini, diced
  • 3 cups diced portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 4 tbs chili powder
  • 4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 8 large tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cups black beans, drained and rinsed if you’re using canned
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot heat oil. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Stir while cooking for about 5 minutes (yell upstairs for kids to stop running in the house)

Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook for an additional 10 minutes

Add cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute ( equivalent to the amount of time it will take kids to destroy everything you cleaned)

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and vegetable stock. Stir well and bring to a boil (Yell again for kids to stop running in the house)

Reduce heat, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I also use this to time to occasionally check on kids to make sure they’re all still accounted for, in one piece and breathing. I think they all were.

Remove from heat and add any garnishments you like. We use cilantro, green onions, avocados and plain Greek yogurt.

Retrieve any kids that are in time out and serve over rice!

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Eating Healthy

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So, obviously eating is something we all have to do….and while making sure it tastes good is pretty high up there on the priority list when it comes to meal time I also want to make sure I am encouraging smart eating habits and making sure it’s nutritious.

There was a time when I would just stock up on boxed cereals and pop tarts and let the kids grab whatever they wanted in the morning. There was a time when I would stuff their lunchboxes full of fruit snacks and oreos to go along with their lunchables or hot dogs. That was until we made the choice as a family to eat healthier. Gone are the days of processed foods and it’s my duty to make sure my kids (and husband I suppose) have a hot breakfast and tons of healthy foods to choose from throughout the day. What I’ve come to realize over the years, and also common sense, is that if I don’t buy the junk, it’s not here for them to eat.

Preparing three healthy meals a day can be a challenge, especially for those moms (and dads) that have a job outside of the home but there are a few ways to help ensure you’re on the road to eating right.

  1. Scheduled, regular meals as a family- If possible, everybody eats together…at the table. It can be hard to have dinner at a certain time every night, especially if you have little ones involved in tons of extracurricular activities but it’s really important to have that routine. Post it on the fridge….breakfast at 6:30, lunch at noon, dinner at 5:30 with snacks in between. Plus that eliminates whining children from asking a million times “when is it gonna be time to eat?”
  2. Mom and Dad eat healthy- Let’s be real, no matter how many times you yell “Eat your carrots!”, we know that kids watch what we do more than they listen to what we say. If we are setting a good example as their parents by eating healthy, they will follow suit. Don’t make them eat raw broccoli while you’re eating hot cheetos and donuts……or you can eat it hiding in your closet at one in the morning…..not that I’ve ever done that or anything
  3. Let kids help-  All kids like to help out in the kitchen. What better way to encourage them to eat right than by letting them assist in whipping up a healthy meal. If they’ve helped make the food they will definitely want to eat it.
  4. Variety- There are so many more choices out there beside apples, or celery with peanut butter. Try a variety of different fruits and vegetables. The more you try, the more they are bound to like.
  5. Make mealtime fun- As angry as you might get that your two year old didn’t eat their peas, don’t turn dinner into a battle. Don’t force kids to clean their plate. I know most of us grew up that way, but kids know when they are full and if they don’t like something, forcing them to eat it won’t make them like it any more and you’ve taught them that it’s okay to control them using food.
  6. 6. THE INTERNET- Literally my lifeline. Sometimes I just run out of ideas and so off to Pinterest, or a cooking blog I go. You can put absolutiely anything into Google and get what you’re looking for. My favorite site at the moment is 100 days of Real food. I got all of last weeks lunch ideas from there. But wherever you draw inspiration, good luck and Happy Healthy Eating!!!!

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