Monthly Archives: May 2012

the usual suspects: a lentil bowl: kale, curry, + chickpeas

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I think this looks like a really yummy and healthy dish to make!

E A T & R E L I S H

Despite the fact that recently it may appear that I’ve been subsisting on a steady diet of creamy citrus pies or cookies stuffed with breakfast cereal, I can assure you that it’s actually quite the contrary around these parts.

Sure last weekend I managed to eat dinner out at threedecadentrestaurants in as many nights, sat outside on my deck lazily sipping sangria, and really only got my rear end to the gym once (and…errrm…spent most of that ‘visit’ perched poolside, trolling Pinterest, and sporting my sunnies).

(Hey, at least I refrained from ordering a beer.)

((And yes, they do serve beer at the gym pool.  Cruel, no?)

But I promise you that not all has gone to hell-in-a-holiday-weekend-hand-basket here.  There has been some healthy answers to all of that…..unhealthy three-day weekend-ing, and those answers come in the form of little red lentils…

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Itching For My Green Thumb!

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As I’ve been going more and more toward green/sustainable living, my green thumb has really been itching! There’s just one problem… at this point in time I don’t have an ideal lawn for growing things. A nice little tornado took care of that last year, and we’re just now really getting our lives back in order. Our house is almost completely done being rebuilt, but it won’t be until next year when our yard is ready for growing.

Anyway so I was looking around on the internet, and I found this really cool little project where you can make an in-house hanging herb garden with some coffee cans and coat hangers! Not only is it a good space saver, but it’s also a good way to recycle your old used coffee cans! Pretty neat, huh? Since our house is almost done (there’s just a few small things left), I think I might HOPEFULLY get to try it within the next few weeks. That is, if things go according to plan. *crosses fingers*

In the meantime though, if I don’t get to do this hanging garden thing, maybe my husband’s parents will be nice enough to give us any excess produce they have from their own garden. LOL

If you want a good, detailed tutorial on how to do the hanging herb garden, here is the url!

http://persephonemagazine.com/2011/04/the-lazy-ladys-guide-to-diy-hanging-herb-garden/

Also, if you have cats, you might want to either plant cat-friendly plants, or close off the room where your herb garden is. Here is another url for a list of cat-friendly plants:

http://suite101.com/article/plants-that-are-safe-for-cats-a144117

Happy planting! 🙂

Barley Hoppin’ John

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Ok, this doesn’t really have as much to do with being cost effective as it has to do with eating healthy. Last Sunday I got a recipe called “Barley Hoppin’ John” from eatingwell.com. I made it this Sunday for my in-law’s and my 9 yr old nephew, and they absolutely LOVED it. It’s a vegetarian dish (we’re normally meat eaters, but I figured it would be good to go meatless one day a week) that is based off of the recipe for “Hoppin’ John” which, instead of barley, it uses oats.

At first I thought that it wasn’t going to be as good because of the black eyed peas, since I didn’t like them when I had them in a different recipe months and months ago. But it was delicious, and the whole family loved it! Well, my husband didn’t get to try it because he was at work and everyone wanted seconds. ^_^ I am going to post the recipe, and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

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(This picture is from eatingwell.com, and I do not claim it as my own work.)

BARLEY HOPPIN’ JOHN

Ingredients:

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 14 oz can of veggie broth

1 cup quick cooking barley

1 TBS chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 15 oz cans of black eyed peas, rinsed

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the veggies soften, about 3-4 mins.

2. Add garlic, cook one min.

3. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done. That will take about 15-20 mins.

5. Remove from heat, stir in black eyed peas, and let sit for 5 mins. Serve hot.

Nutrition:

Per serving: 320 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono), 0 mg cholesterol, 58 g carbohydrates, 0 g added sugars, 12 g protein, 11 g fiber, 677 mg sodium, 529 mg potassium.

Enjoy!

Aside

I have a confession to make. This is actually my first DIY project, but I do have TONS of recipes that I want to try out! This first project was some homemade hand soap/body wash. I will post the recipe as well as the link to the original website where I got it from. For my batch I used some really generic literally no name soap that some volunteers gave me last year after my house was destroyed by a tornado, but I really don’t suggest using it. If you’re going to use this recipe, I would recommend going with Yardley bar soap like the lady who I got the recipe off of. Mine just ended up looking really weird, but still useable so far! Anyway, I will go ahead and post the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes (one bar yields a little over 1.5 cups, so I stored the rest of my soap in an air tight container)

10 cups water

1 TBS glycerine (you can either get this at your local drug store, or by the pharmacy at Wal-Mart, where I got mine)

Equipment:

cheese grater

a large pot

measuring cup and spoons

spatula for stirring

a soap container with a hand pump

a container to store the excess soap

funnel

Directions:

1. Grate the soap.

Just an FYI, if you haven’t figured out from my first paragraph, the soap is kind of a wild card because of quality and ingredients. Also, the grated soap will look like Parmesan. As tasty as it looks, I wouldn’t suggest eating it. 😉 lol

avoid this soap for homemade liquid hand soap/body wash. It is, however, good by itself if you like bar soap

This is the soap that I used. I wouldn’t suggest using it. Like I said, my soap looks kind of weird and lumpy, even after I tried to break it up. Oh well, live and learn right? I would suggest using Yardley like the original poster did. Hers looks so much prettier than mine! lol

2. In a large pot, combine your ingredients. Turn on your stove to medium-low heat until soap dissolves. This takes around 2 minutes.

3. Let cool completely. Once it’s cooled, pour soap into a container with the funnel! Enjoy, and hopefully you do a better job at this one than I did! 🙂

As promised, here is the link to the original recipe:

http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/

EDIT 5/30/2012: I looked at my body wash again today, just for S&G’s I guess, and it looks a lot more like the body wash in the original recipe now. *whew!* If you want a good lather, I would suggest using a dispenser for foaming soap. But if you don’t use that, don’t worry if it’s not lathering, it’s still doing its job! 🙂

This is what my body wash looked like while it was in the pot cooling.

First Post and DIY Liquid Hand Soap/Body Wash!!