Recently Jeff and I were watching a cooking show and saw a machine demonstrated that made amazing vegetable noodles.  Since we downsized our home and kitchen (you can read HERE), we have been really good about not purchasing much that needs real estate space in our home.  I made homemade spaghetti sauce (recipe coming soon) and once our little machine arrived, I was peeling a sweet potato and Jeff was washing the zucchini he had picked up on the way home.  In no time at all, we had a pile of zucchini and sweet potato noodles waiting for hot sauce.  I blanched the sweet potato spirals in boiling water for about 3 minutes.   Jeff did nothing to the zucchini.  I have used other tools and machines to get this effect but the difference with this machine is (1) it grips very well to the counter top (2) the noodles can be wound around a fork like pasta and (3) it is very easy to clean (4) the noodles aren’t wet.

We are always looking for ways to add vegetables into our diet and I can see many future possibilities.

Here is the link to this kitchen helper – HERE

Sweet potato noodles blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and strained – bring on the sauce.

I sautéed some sweet potatoes in olive oil to add a crispy crunch to a salad and also a few raw zucchini noodles.

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Spring Chicken Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing


Spring Chicken Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing
The fresh basil in this simple dressing makes the salad special.
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  1. Salad Ingredients
  2. Organic Spring Mix
  3. Organic Carrots, Shredded
  4. Organic Celery, Shredded
  5. Purple Cabbage, Shredded
  6. Snap Peas, cut into small pieces
  7. Avocado
  8. Organic Cooked Chicken, cut into small pieces
  9. Dressing
  10. 1/3 Red Wine Vinegar
  11. 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  12. 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  13. 1/2 tsp of salt
  14. 1/4 tsp of ground pepper
  15. 3 Tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
  1. No measurements for the salad are given. You can use the ingredients listed and make a single serving or a large salad for a family or group.
  2. Dressing
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients and shake well. (I use a small mason jar.)
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Help! – No Time to Cook Shopping List

Trader Joes Shopping List1

By Sunday, I am usually at a place where I have a piece of paper with the recipes planned out for the week, shopping is done, vegetables and fruits cleaned and even one or two of those recipes have been cooked.  But sometimes like this week that wasn’t the case so I decided to see what I could pull together to ease the energy expended in cooking every night and still stay on a healthy eating plan.  I had to let go a bit of eating all organic but because I know this isn’t going to be my norm I’m okay with that.  I also thought this would be helpful for those that don’t enjoy cooking as much as I do or are having “one of those weeks.”

So I had 30 minutes to run to our local Trader Joe’s and here’s what I picked up.  Don’t have a Trader Joe’s?  I’m sure your grocery has similar items.  Be a good label reader and choose items that don’t have ingredients you can’t pronounce because those aren’t probably foods.  Always try to do most of your shopping on the parameter of your market.  


  • Package of Kale
  • Package of shredded broccoli/cabbage/carrot combo
  • Mushrooms
  • Organic Apples
  • Cherries or another fruit
  • Fresh Peas/Carrots/Celery/Etc. – You can choose how much time you have to spend.  The more prepared the vegetables are the more you’ll pay.


  • 2 packages of already cooked chicken or a whole roasted chicken – you can often find these in your deli area.  
  • Raw Organic Chicken Breasts – This can cook while you are cooking hard boiled eggs.


  • Prepared Salads – stick to the ones that have an oil and vinegar dressing and use only half the amount.  Our Trader Joe’s have many to choose from.  Go ahead and buy a couple that don’t have a meat.  You can always add some of the already cooked chicken to them.  Last week these salads saved me.
  • Hummus


  • Cage Free Eggs – Hardboiled (Often you can find these cooked but I think it’s worth the time to make these at home.  (They only take 30 minutes and need very little attention – Recipe
  • Fage Plain Greek Yogurt


  • Frozen Brown Rice or Quinoa
  • Pineapple


  • No Sugar Added Almond or Peanut Butter
  • A 100% Fruit Spread – will be near the jams and jellies
  • Raw Almonds 
  • Raw Pecans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Canned Lentil Soup
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dried Blueberries


  • Berry Carbonated Water

Here is What I Can Do With All of This

I have my premade salads that I may need to add to precooked chicken to.

I can make up lunches  for work or dinners made up of chicken/vegetables/rice or quinoa

I can make up my own salad of kale, broccoli/carrot/cabbage mix, a few dried blueberries, sunflower seed, cooked chicken with a little dressing (Recipe below)  Tip: A lot of people don’t care for kale salad but there is a reason – they haven’t massaged it.  Cut you kale in small pieces.  Place in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and then give your fingers a good workout by massage the kale for a few minutes.  It’s amazing what a difference it makes in the texture.

I can have a bowl of lentil soup

I have hardboiled eggs that can be used for breakfast or a snack.  (Portable protein – Note:  Oh, how I hated eggs as a child.  My parents are absolutely amazed to see me eat these now.  They still aren’t my favorite but I’d rather fuel my body well than have everything that goes into my mouth be my favorite.)

I have a nice Greek plain yogurt that provides protein and allows me to make a healthy version of a flavored yogurt by adding a 100% fruit spread into it.  Recipe Below

I have nuts, fruits and vegetables that can be placed in portion controlled bags for snacks.  I can have a little almond/peanut butter with an apple or some hummus with my veggies.

I have frozen pineapple that I can add to filtered water or the berry bubbly water.

All of this ran me under $80.00

I also benefit because Shakeology which is made up of whole foods is part of my daily nutrition.  There are so many different types of blended shakes adding fruit, spices, etc I can enjoy or if I’m in a hurry I can mix it with almond milk/water in a shaker cup.

I believe with all my heart that God wants us to take care of ourselves.  He doesn’t make junk and ingesting junk is not going to help us run effectively and efficiently.  We often don’t have energy due to our poor food choices.  Think about it – we are more intentional about the type of fuel that goes into our cars than we are about how we fuel our body.

IMG_0797 Favorite Salad Dressing

Veggie Packs

Yogurt Parfait – You can sprinkle a little granola on top


Ginger Peach Protein Shake

Note – I have been paid nothing from Trader Joe’s to mention them in this post.

If you are interested in learning more about Shakeology, please fill out the form below and I’ll contact you.