Monday, March 18, 2013

short cuts

My extra time lately seems to be at a minimum.  A little clue that I'm behind on things?  My kids start drawing me with brown hair - usually it's yellow - like my daughter's.  I'm surprised he didn't draw it half yellow, half brown.  At least I'm rockin that v-shaped smile...that's a good sign.

But during those weeks when I need an extra 24 hrs in a day, I appreciate all the time-savers I can get.  Especially in the kitchen.  And I don't mean those over achieving cook ahead tips, I mean true time-savers.

My go-to, once a week meal has been Chili Cubana starting with this as my base (don't judge - it's all natural and contains ingredients that everyone knows and can pronounce).   I usually brown up some meat, but last week, I didn't have the time or the meat, so I added two cans of black beans, one thinly chopped baking potato and one sweet potato (potatoes add some nice bulk to vegetarian chili).  Top with shredded cheese and diced onion and call it a meal.  "Best chili ever," proclaimed the troops.

Then St. Patrick's Day rolls around...and yes, the kids love all holidays, so you need to celebrate somehow.  Luckily, my sister-n-law, sent me this:  Bob's RedMill Irish Soda Bread Mix.  Mixed in some raisins and voila, Kiss Me, I'm Irish! (actually, don't kiss me, just do my laundry)

And because I need to feed my kids a healthy treat, of course, I turned to these No Bake Energy Balls.  Took me all of 7 minutes, including the time it took to toast the coconut. Please don't hate me,, I didn't have time to take a proper photo (surprise), so I'm using yours.

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.  Makes about 20-25 balls.

And, because there is not a shortcut for highlighting my hair (although the camomile tea did work a little), I've carved out a few hours at the salon today - hopefully I won't have to cancel.



Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I have been loving protein balls as snacks. Of course, the 12 year old boy in me still giggles at the name.

torrie said...

love this. all of it. except the "limited time" part :/. hope that part gets better real soon. (hosting book club this week... and am in the very same boat)