Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

This stuff is the bomb. We had it a few weeks ago and I've been meaning to blog about it. I've been craving it like crazy so maybe we'll have it for dinner tonight. Seriously...sooo freaking good!

Once again, I got this from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen website.

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
corn tortillas--at least 12
3 cups (28 ounces) fatfree refried beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp. cumin, divided
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce (or 1 1/2 cups homemade)
sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a non-stick pan with a little water (1 tbsp.), sauté the peppers, garlic, and onion for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Set aside.

Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with a layer of tortillas (you may cut some of them to fit). Make sure you cover the entire bottom of the pan.

Stir the refried beans and spread half of them evenly over the tortillas. Cover the refried beans with half of the pepper-onion mixture and half of the tomatoes; sprinkle with half of the seasonings and half of the black beans.

Add another layer of tortillas and repeat the layers of the other ingredients. Spread the cup of salsa over the final layer of black beans. Cover with a final layer of tortillas, pour the enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with black olives. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot throughout. It will be easier to cut if you allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Fresh corn is a great addition to this. I use about 2 cups of uncooked (or frozen) corn and add it as one more layer. You may need a deeper pan, though.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crazy Dreams

I've been having such crazy dreams lately(not abnormal for me). The night before last could have been a sci-fi book!
Well last night I had a vivid dream that I was pregnant again. I was about to give birth and decided to go to the hospital and have an epidural. Josh was upset with me and trying to talk me out of it and I had a lot of guilt about making that decision.
I was telling him that I could not go through the pain of natural child birth again. I felt so afraid in my dream. So odd since I've had two home births and I'm all for them!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

And Just Like That...It's All Over

For some reason I don't feel ready for Christmas to be over. It seemed to come and go so quickly! We did have a lovely Christmas though! Christmas Eve we spent time with's my favorite part of the holiday! We spent Christmas day in our PJ's all day long. It was wonderful! The kids loved their gifts. Kieran was so surprised that Santa brought him a trampoline! As much as I tried to cut back on the amount of money spent on gifts...I think I may have failed a little. I think we still spent less than usual, but not like I'd planned. I tend to get carried away with the fun of the shopping for them. I get so excited thinking of all the things they will love. Now I just need to pack up a bunch of Kieran's toys that he never plays with and save them for when Chloe gets a little older.
I didn't get what I asked santa for( digital rebel camera), but that's okay. There is always my birthday, or next year. We really need to put money into fixing up the house more. I did however get some pretty awesome gifts! I got a new Mother's bracelet with each of the kid's birthstones. They have such pretty birthstones! I just love it. I also got a CD from the show Glee. We were all totally spoiled by my Dad. We made him a calender with the kids pictures on each page of the month. Josh got one from the kids too, but his is a desk calender for work.
Our tree is wilting so we need to get that down. Boohoo!! I'll miss it so! I just love the lights and seeing the kids handmade ornaments on the tree everyday. I'll miss it! I am looking forward to having more room in the living room though!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tree Ornament

I got this idea from my friend Shannon. She had one like it hanging on her tree.
Kieran and I had so much fun making this together! If you're going to attempt this you'll need some good scissors to cut the Popsicle sticks. ;)

Popsicle sticks(we used one larger tongue depressor type for the trunk).
Pipe cleaners
Green paint

That's it! Super simple. I already had all of these things in our craft box so it was great.
Of course you can do this a number of don't have to go by the way we did.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nevin's 12th Birthday

Nevin turned 12 on Dec.4th. My little boy is twelve! It really does seem like yesterday that he was five. Every time I think about it I want to cry! It also makes me feel pretty old :P. I'm so proud of him. He really is a good kid with a kind heart. He'll always be my baby...hehe!
He had the choice to either have a big party or get a big gift. He chose the big gift. He wanted Drum lesson's so we signed him up! He starts next Thursday right after his guitar lessons. I'm excited for him!
We had a fun day. We took him to see A Christmas Carol and on our way home picked out our Christmas tree. For dinner he chose Pizza(with vegan rice cheese). We had cake the next day.
It was also Chloe's 1st time at the movies. She didn't make a peep during the whole thing. She was either nursing or sleeping.:)

and I can't leave out sweet Kieran!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chili Mac

Tonight we had Chili Mac for dinner. It was pretty darn tasty! I added a lot of salt to my bowl, but that's only because I'm a salt addict...ha! The hubs said it was good, Nevin liked the noodles :P and Kieran wasn't in the mood to try I'm not sure what he thinks. If I can get him to have some I'll let ya know!
We will for sure be making this again.

I got the recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Chili Mac

2 cups elbow macaroni
1 onion, chopped
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
4 teaspoons mild chili powder*
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
10 ounces frozen corn kernels
1 16-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
5 cups thinly-sliced kale (thick stems removed before slicing) or other greens**
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until tender. Drain. Sauté onion in a large non-stick pot until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, as well as cooked pasta. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*This is chili powder, not pepper, a mixture of mild chili peppers and cumin that adds no heat to the dish. If you want it spicy, add cayenne or additional
chipotle chili powder.
**If you use a faster-cooking green such as spinach, add it during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Feeds about 6.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Meal Planning

So it's come to my attention just how much we've been spending on groceries. I won't say, but just know it's a ridiculous amount! With Christmas coming up we really need to cut down on the spending. So no more $5 peanut matter how good it is! I've also decided to meal plan and stick to it. I'm hoping that by buying things we know we need instead of willy nilly buying and then going back for the things we will save some moolah.
So here is what I have as far as meals so far. Let me just say that this would have been easier if I weren't avoiding soy products!

-Spaghetti w/ garlic bread and salad
-White bean and kale soup w/ french bread
-Veggie Chili w/ french bread
-Barbecue Seitan w/ fries and corn
-Chili Mac /w some sort of side
-Cauliflower Mushroom Marranca
-Veggie cabbage rolls w/ side of green beans
-Mexican Lasagna w/ rice
-Veg French bread pizza w/ side of asparagus
-Veg Tacos w/ mexican rice
-Veg "Field roast" with mashes potatoes and corn

So that's what I've got so far!