my plan had been to make lentil soup tonight, but by the time i got home from the store … you know where this is going. my girl was hungry, and i didn’t feel like the time and process of the lentil soup i had in mind, so i decided to use what i had on hand to make dinner.

what ended up was, according to hubby, something that needs to go on the “bowls” menu. he said it reminded him of gumbo in that it had a variety of great flavors that popped. cool beans. it’s a keeper, and i decided i better write it down lest i forget all about it.

here it is:

sausage rice kale carrot “soup”:

:: chicken and apple sausage from costco (aidell’s brand)

:: about 1/3 bunch chopped kale, stems removed

:: 3 carrots, chopped small

:: 1/2 onion, chopped

:: about 1/5 head of red cabbage (what was left in the fridge)

:: a few handfuls (literally) of cooked, short grain brown rice

:: chicken stock (one large carton of organic)

:: cumin, real salt and frank’s hot sauce

first, i chopped up the 5 links of sausage and sauteed in olive oil for at least 10 minutes, til browned and hot.

in a soup pot, i sauteed the onion and carrot in olive oil til onion was soft, about 5 min, stirring frequently. i then added several generous shakes of cumin and a few of real salt. i stirred this up for  a couple minutes, then added:

the rice, cooked sausages, chicken broth, kale, and cabbage.

and here’s where it turned from “soup” to “bowl”: i turned the burner to medium with the plan of quickly lowering the temp and letting it simmer until we were ready to eat. except i got distracted … feeding and bathing a baby and then realizing, shoot!, that the soup has been bubbling now for about 30 minutes. yikes. most of the broth was absorbed but i decided it would be ok. i added a few shakes of frank’s hot sauce and served up our bowls.


horrid phone pic, but hey ... at least i remembered to take one! 🙂



i used what we had on hand today (2 thawed boneless/skinless chicken breasts, limes, feta cheese, cooked brown rice, spinach) to make our lunch today. hubby said it should go on the ‘bowls’ menu so i figured i should write it down so i don’t forget it!! 🙂

:: i put the 2 chicken breasts in a flat bowl and poured a lot of lime juice over them, as well as real sea salt, pepper, and onion salt.

:: i warmed olive oil in a pan, added some minced garlic, and put the chicken in to cook.

:: when i turned the chicken over, i seasoned the other side with the salt, pepper, onion salt. i squeezed more lime juice over the top, and covered the pan with a lid.

:: i think the cooking time was less than 10 minutes total.

:: i heated up some brown rice in our separate bowls and put some chopped up chicken on top.

:: in the pan used for chicken, i added a bit more olive oil and big handfuls of spinach (with a dash of salt). i cooked this for a few minutes, then added the spinach to the chicken bowl.

:: i sprinkled feta cheese on me and hubby’s bowls as well as another squeeze of lemon juice.


super simple frugal dinner

January 31, 2011

i estimate the total cost for dinner last night was well under $5. gotta love it! and the bonus was that it tasted pretty darn good (hubs even suggested it go on the BOWLS menu – ha!)

here’s what i did:

the night before, i soaked a big bowl of pinto beans. then, mid-afternoon yesterday, i cooked the beans (super easy: rinse the soaked beans, put in a big pot and cover w/water, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer, slightly covered, until soft … usually a few hours.). toward the end of the beans cooking time, i added *mega* spices: onion powder, minced garlic, a lot of cumin, pepper and real salt.

while the beans were cooking, i made some brown rice in the rice cooker.

when both the beans and rice were nearly done, i chopped up a big turkey sausage link in small pieces and sauteed in olive oil.

i then put the cooked beans, cooked rice, and warmed sausage in a big pot. i added some chicken stock to give the mixture some moisture, and liberally seasoned (same seasonings as before, plus some cayenne this time).

i served big bowls of this, with some sauteed spinach on the side, and with some grated cheese melted on top. yum!

super quick lime chicken

August 4, 2010

i put this in the crockpot before church on sunday, not knowing what to expect but using what we had on hand, and it turned out really good. mike suggested that we put it on the “bowls” menu =).

i used:

:: 2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts

:: onion salt and garlic salt sprinkled over frozen breasts

:: juice of 3 limes squeezed over chicken and in to crockpot

:: chicken broth ( i didn’t have homemade so used a can) poured over

this cooked on high for about 3 hours …  then i shredded the pieces of chicken within the crockpot.  i cooked rice in the rice cooker so i served the chicken over the rice, ladling the “juices” over. i added some cooked veggies in the “bowl” and we were set! SUPER simple.

chicken fried rice

June 8, 2010

i needed to make something yummy and nourishing w/the food that i had on hand, and this was a hit! it was a complete meal; we each had a bowl for dinner and were completely satisfied. what a quick, easy summer dinner!

(while eating, hubby said that this needs to be on the “bowls” menu, so we put it on the list!)


:: i chopped carrots, celery and purple (red?) cabbage (what we had in our fridge) in small pieces and sauteed in about 1/3 c coconut oil + a few tsp of sesame oil.

:: i added some garlic salt, sea salt, and onion powder to the simmering veggies.

:: when the veggies were more “soft” than crunchy, i pushed aside some room in the pan and fried 2 pastured eggs (adding some more seasoning).

:: when eggs were fried and scrambled up, i added cooked short grain brown rice (which i had put in the rice cooker earlier in the day).

:: i poured in some braggs liquid aminos (aka, soy sauce) and a few more tsps of sesame oil. i stirred to ensure all the rice/veggies were covered in the liquid.

:: separately, i had earlier boiled some frozen boneless chicken tenders. when they were cooked and cooled, i chopped them up. in a small pot on the stove, i warmed up some agave + liquid aminos (soy sauce) + powdered ginger + a scooch of corn starch … stirred til somewhat thick, then added the chopped chicken. this gave the chicken a yummy flavor!

:: i added the flavored chicken to the rice mix, stirred it all, added some more salt to taste, and voila: dinner!!

not the best pic ... and boy, do i need new pans!!

fish bowl =)

May 21, 2010

we are getting in to a little routine in our home: thursday night has become “fish” night, and for a hubby and daughter who were *not* big fish eaters, this is pretty cool!

after we ate, my hubby asked if this is on the BOWLS menu, so i was reminded to share about it here …


one package white fish (whatever is affordable that week at the store – we love halibut)

coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil

fresh squeezed lemon juice

seasoning: turmeric, onion powder, sea salt, cumin, pepper

place all fish in a flat bowl; squeeze lemon over and add a little olive oil. begin sprinkling seasoning over …

warm up about 1/4 c coconut oil in a pan. add the fish, and once in the pan, season the remaining surface of the fish. i like turmeric and onion salt; my hubby loves lots of seasoning and “kick”; my daughter doesn’t so much. after a few minutes, i turn the fish over.  cook them until done, about 5-7 minutes total.

the fish cooking =)

last night, i served the fish over quinoa with a caesar salad and fresh berries on the side. usually, we have fresh beets on the side (i love the beet greens, sauteed!).

i put this “bowl” together for my hubby for lunch today and after eating it, he announced that it needs to be on the “Bowls” menu. =)

it is nothing fancy at all … but, he loves his food tasty/satisfying/hot/flavorful; and i love frugal/nourishing/simple! it covers all those bases.

(bummer that i didn’t think to take a pic before he devoured it!)


:: leftover short grain brown rice, cooked in chicken stock and then after being cooked, more chicken stock added to create a soupy, thick rice (plus lots of onion salt and sea salt added for flavor)

:: leftover chicken from an organic, whole chicken that i fixed 2 days ago (and made yummy stock from, which i’ll share about soon!)

:: pico de gallo

:: grated cheese

warm up the chicken and rice; top w/the pico and cheese,  and serve w/tortilla chips (for scooping) on the side. yum. =0)