Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weekday Quick Meal & Garden Pictures!

My weeks have been very busy lately, and I haven't quite been keeping up with my blog. I've been running, playing soccer, working on my garden, and just plain running around. This meal idea is actually from Tuesday night, and I'm just now getting around to posting it on Saturday. :) Hey, at least I'm posting it! It's very easy to make, fairly quick (about 20 minutes to make), and quite delicious.

This idea isn't entirely original, and it is partially stolen from a soup commercial and partially part of following the meal plan advocated by Alicia Silverstone in The Kind Diet. She says that at every meal, 1/2 your plate should be veggies, 1/4 whole grains, and 1/4 protein. I've been trying to include all three in each meal and making an effort to try new whole grains and to eat a variety of different foods.

So for this particular dinner, I cooked a can of Amy's Spicy Chili, some jasmine rice, and a bag of frozen Ranchero style vegetables. If you don't have Ranchero Style Vegetables, you can also just use a bag of mixed vegetables and add some spices (such as red pepper, cumin, and turmeric).

Tip: Start cooking your rice first because it will take the longest. (I used a rice cooker.) You then can wait about 8-15 before you need to start cooking your veggies and chili. Take that time to check your email, feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, whatever needs to be done around the house, or just sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or something!

My carnivore husband loved this meal, especially the vegan chili! He did, however, add some shredded cheddar cheese to his chili and make his dish not entirely vegan. But if that's your thing, go for it. I'm sure it was just as tasty.

Also, I promised you guys that I would post some pictures of my garden plot. So I took some for you. These were taken at night because it's been getting dark so early lately. I plan to take a few better ones after I mulch tomorrow.

Cantaloupe: I got both my cantaloupe plants on sale from the garden store at the end of the season for super cheap. They were half dead, and I didn't expect much from them, but I managed to nurse them back to health and Look! A cute little baby cantaloupe! Maybe it'll be big enough to eat before the frost hits us...

Kale: I planted this about a week and a half ago, and it's really shot up since then. I've heard that kale actually tastes best after the first frost. So this is one of my fall plants that I'm really looking forward to.

Carrots!: I love carrots!  I actually planted about five rows and two different varieties, so I'll have plenty to spare and share with friends. ( 4 rows and 2 varieties of kale, too.) I'm excited for when these babies are ready to harvest!

Strawberries?: I planted 8 of these plants with the hopes to have some next year since I didn't get my garden plot until pretty much the end of the summer. But lookie here, I have another strawberry fruit. In October! I hope they do this well next summer.

Blueberries: I also bought 9 blueberry bushes and 1 raspberry bush to be harvested next summer. They're hanging in there. The leaves have been changing colors due to the fall weather, but I've been told that as long as there are green branches, I will have lots of blueberries next year!

If you have any ideas for any over winter plants that I can add to my garden, let me know in the comments.  I'm new to this gardening business, and I'm just figuring out how much work and fun it can be.

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