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Freezer love

I love my freezer, I love to freeze leftovers, I love to freeze an abundance of fruit and vegetables… I just love to have a freezer full of produce, but of course the trick is not to overfill your freezer so much that you never get to use the produce at the back or stored deeply below the current food in there, I love to virtually empty my freezer before restocking it, it gives me real pleasure to see an empty freezer just before I do my weekly grocery trip, of course my children are never too thrilled by this, but personally I love that feeling that I have used wisely all of my groceries before I restock… I just hate waste!

So, on the subject of freezers, I was thrilled this week whilst I was on my weekly trip to Costco, the fruit and vegetables in there looked so enticing and abundant I had to stock up, now I know everything in Costco comes in huge sizes and even for our larger than average family, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, we cannot get through the package sizes either, so with that in mind I still filled my cart with cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, asparagus and so on, I think my cart was mainly healthy fruit and vegetables this week, but I had a plan… Now this is where my freezer comes in, I bagged half of each container into ziplock bags and placed them into my freezer… Genius, right? I can hear you all saying but the fruit just does not taste the same after it is frozen and you are right, but it is perfect for smoothies, homemade ice cream, muffins, cheesecake, sauces, juicing, the list is endless… Of course it is great for adding to cocktails too! So now I not only have a refrigerator full of healthy fruit and vegetables but a freezer well stocked for all our summer favorites too… Not only healthy but budget friendly too!

Still on the subject of freezers, my new plan is to cook and freeze batches of beans, pulses and lentils… I love, love, love these ingredients but more often than not I find I just don’t have the time to cook them along with dinner or I just simply forget to, so after a little research I have discovered that all of these ingredients freeze and reheat well… So batch cooking these ingredients will mean I can always have them on hand in my beloved freezer, meaning that we will be eating much healthier too!

Recipe for chocolate covered strawberries

1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used Kirkland semi sweet)
1 1/2tablespoon of coconut oil ( I used Trader Joes)
20 fresh strawberries

There are two ways of melting your chocolate with the coconut oil, the first is taking a great amount of care in your microwave, they burn easily so melt them in 30 second bursts until they are smooth and melted, the other way, which is the method I used is to take about an inch of boiling water in a pan, place your bowl of chocolate and coconut oil over the water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water and then let your boiling water slowly melt your chocolate for a few minutes, once it is smooth and melted take it off the heat and wash and pat dry your strawberries, then coat each strawberry with the chocolate mixture, taking care not to cover the green leafy part, place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, then place in refrigerator to chill then serve with anything you like… Delicious!

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My favorite things to eat…

I am going to try and post my favorite recipe of the meal we have eaten in the last week, each Wednesday… This week I have two favorite recipes to share with you, both were very delicious and super healthy, I am trying to add chia seeds to all of our meals, more often than not I forget as I am usually doing my normal multi tasking Mommy act at this time of the day, but I will get into the habit soon… Fingers crossed!

Black bean and arugula salad with creamy avocado dressing

1/2 can of drained and rinsed black beans
5 small sweet baby peppers sliced
1 bag of arugula
1 small red onion finely sliced
1 handful of pea shoots chopped
1 handful of Cilantro chopped
1 avacado
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the first 6 items, then take a ripe avacado and mash or blend in a blender for a few minutes with lime juice and about 1/4 cup of water then add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, stir then coat your salad with your creamy dressing… Serve fresh with whatever takes your fancy, we had spicy Mexican pork with ours then a huge bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert… Healthy and very delicious!

White turkey chili with a twist

1 packet of ground turkey
Small amount of oil, I used spray coconut oil from Trader Joes
2 cups of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of cumin
1-2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes
1 small red onion finely chopped
3 small sweet peppers slice
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 can of cannellini beans drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 pack of orzo

Sauté the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, then add peppers and sauté for another 5 minutes before adding ground turkey… Cook until browned then add spinach, let it slightly wilt before adding chicken broth, red pepper flakes, cumin and cannellini beans, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer then cover and cook for 30 minutes. Cook orzo according to the packet instructions, add the feta cheese, stir until slightly melted then when the turkey chili is cooked, combine it with the orzo and cheese mixture… Serve and enjoy!

It is Florrie’s second Birthday this coming Saturday, so after a long weekend filled with Anniversary, Mothers Day and Birthday celebrations, I am trying to concentrate on getting everything ready for my little flower to have a wonderful day too… This has meant finishing off her wigwam playhouse (tutorial to follow soon), shopping for cupcake supplies… Guess what cake she is having? and of course getting her some fabulous new princess pink toys! In a family as large as ours, parties don’t really need to be more than the people that are living in our house, well at the tender age of 2 anyway and that is about all I can cope with at the moment, I am sure next year maybe a different story!

Have a wonderful day… Sunny spring wishes for everyone!

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