Friday, September 16, 2011

Annual garage sale…


I’m not a big fan of garage sales, but there comes a time when you just gotta suck it up and do it!  To me it seems like a lot of work…the cleaning, the sorting, the pricing, etc… Then it’s over in a matter of hours and you’re still left with a whole lot more than you bargained for.  But hey, I am a big fan of donating…bye, bye!!

I got suckered into participating in the annual multi-family garage sale this year.  Thus, for the past few days I’ve been rummaging through drawers, closets, and other places where long lost treasures are lurking.  And I will admit, I’m ready to see it all go! 

In between all the rummaging we’ve managed to keep up with the school work, but our meals have been a little on the “lighter” side.  We’ve been slurpin’ down smoothies (full of greens, protein, and flax) and munchin’ on cool salads…something like this one:


Freshened Up Broccoli Salad

(inspired by Sarah @ Peas and Thank You)

Yields 8 servings


5 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup red onion, minced (optional)

2 Tbsp organic cane sugar

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 cup Vegenaise

1 cup unsalted dry-roasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

**This is a vegan dish, but can easily be adapted to the meat lovers in your family…just add 4 strips cooked bacon, crumble.


*If using bacon, cook over medium heat until evenly browned.  Crumble when cool and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, dried cranberries, and onions, if using.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, red wine vinegar, and vegenaise.  Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat.  Refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours.  The longer it sits, the more tender the broccoli gets and the flavors just meld together!

Just before serving, top with bacon, if using, the pecans, and sunflower seeds.  Toss and serve!


This is a salad that I’ve always loved and hated at the same time.  I love the flavors it has to offer, but hated the fact that it was loaded with mayonnaise and always seemed to be warm by the time I was ready to eat it.  Now, that just grosses me out! 

This version seemed to offer all the flavor that I so love while at the same time being light and fresh.  I certainly did not miss the bacon either!  I made a batch for the hubs with bacon and to my surprise he asked for seconds!  YAHOO!


For the girls…well, I had to bribe them with a little sweetness to make it through the day.  And I had some leftover pumpkin puree that simply couldn’t go to waste!  These cookies just may be one of my new favorites…at least for this week!  They are chewy through and through with a little crunch on the bottom…hey, just like a slice of pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields 2 dozen cookies


3/4 cup Earth Balance, softened

1 cup organic brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (or Sucanat)

1/2 can organic pumpkin puree

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax + 3 Tbsp water; let soak for about 5 minutes)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (can sub 1 cup whole wheat & 1 cup unbleached flour)

1 cup gluten free quick-cooking oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Beat in the pumpkin, flax egg, and vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Gradually add to creamed mixture.  Fold into chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Nourishing Thought for Today:

This week has definitely been a week for stretching our dollar and using the resources we have on hand to make our meals…and it worked!  I’ve learned that you CAN make health fun and easy to accomplish when you have someone to share it with.  For me, it’s my family!  Together we strive to find and experience the treasures that God has in store for us.  Our “treasure chest” is overflowing with God’s bountiful blessings…vibrant health, healthy relationships, and grateful hearts! 

My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you…then you will…discover the knowledge of God.”  - Proverbs 2:1,5




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