Southwestern Patties for a Quick Dinner


I love summer for it’s spontaneity. We can go anywhere anytime.

We are entering our last week of summer here in Portland and I have a pretty good schedule laid out for the week. I’ve decided to go out with a bang – I’m going to be a really fun mom this week; at least I’m going to try. Maybe I should be boring so they actually want to go back to school. I have one that is excited to go and one who is not. I don’t think there’s any way around that. It’s also going to be a new adventure this year because I’ll have my 3-year-old with me all day without the entertainment help of another child.

What I’ll miss: easy mornings, continuous kid crafting, not having a busy night schedule, mid-day adventures, forts all over the house

What I’m excited for: time for some hobbies, watching my kids grow, going grocery shopping with only one child, not hearing arguing throughout the day


I also love summer for it’s fresh produce. I am seriously going to miss melons in a couple months. I think I just ate the best honeydew a couple days ago! But then honey crisp apples are coming back in, so that gives me a good reason to look forward to fall…and soups…and pumpkin flavored everything…and how my boots died the end of winter so I’ll be on the hunt for new ones.

Regardless of summer, end of summer, or new boots, I love quick meals. Meals are the best that I can make with simple prep, that are customizable, but combine lots of different flavors. This meals is one of our favorites…. 

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Simple Salsa with Tomatillos

Simple Salsa

Homemade salsa is one of the things I crave. After I make it, I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner. Especially since it’s gone within two day of making it. This is a super simple salsa that will win you major crowd points and you’ll want to find excuses to put it on anything and everything.

I eat it straight up with chips (my favorite are the multigrain ones from costco), on enchiladas, vegan nachos, mixed into vegan posole or black bean stew, or combined with simple hummus for an amazing dip. You’re covered with options to choose from.

This recipe is inspired from Tyler’s Grandma Eveyln. We were lucky enough to live by his grandparents when we were ungrad students at BYU. They were the first family I met when Tyler and I were dating and we visited often to play games, eat some good food, and enjoy their cozy home. It was nice having them close to us and I’ll treasure that time I got to know them. Go cougars!!… 

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How to Make Healthier Pizza


Pizza is not a common thing around our house, but sometimes it shows up. And although this looks dowsed in cheese, it’s not. This is how to make a healthier pizza. The cheese is only sprinkled on the very top – think of cheese as a spice rather than a main food. That will help with proportioning it right. And if you’re not ready to give up cheese, it will allow you to have it, but changing the way you think about cheese will change the way you use it (refrain from slicing the dubliner sharp white cheddar to snack on…that was my favorite cheese).

Pizza is crunchy and soft all at the same time. It has flexible ingredients and can be made to order. It can be heavy or taste healthy. There really are some benefits for our tastebuds here! That said, this is a sometimes food and should be made as healthy as possible.

Pizza is full of carbs, typically covered in cheese, and often has greasy components added to it.

I’m out to fight some of this.

I don’t think food needs to be greasy and thick and stick-to-your-ribs to enjoy it. Actually, the reverse is true. With food, as with a lot of things in life, less really is more; more of you feeling good. If we really think about every single thing we eat, we’ll probably get the figure we desire more easily and be a lot healthier physically. … 

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Quick Vegan Nachos

Vegan Nachos with creamy sauce and guac

These quick vegan nachos are amazing.  It’s really the fusion of textures that makes them so good. The crunchy pita chips for the base, the spiced beans combined with peppers, the creamy sauce (that was purposely not an imitation of cheese), and some homemade guacamole with cilantro to top it off.

Vegan Nachos

I like that you can eat these with your hands or if you’re not feeling up for the mess, you can also grab a fork. They are exciting for kids and especially husbands! This recipe is actually my husband’s request.

At work, Tyler often gets to sample food products that are being promoted. It’s a cool reason to eat in the cafe when the menu is always changing. At the same time, his research group will also have occasional banquet served lunches. He came home from one of these saying I had to figure out how to make some vegan nachos. Thanks for this one, Tyler. Love you babe…. 

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Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce

Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce \\ Carrot Bowl

I’m a sun worshipper. I love the feeling of sun-kissed skin and the hint of sunscreen that lingers with us through the day. It’s 90 degrees here today and I finally caved and turned on the air conditioning. I love the hot warmth that makes shade seem so much cooler. With the sun shining so hot this week, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. This cashew kale with peanut sauce only requires a short stove time. You could even make it in a cooler morning or evening and save it for the next day as a cold salad.

I love the peanut flavor mixed with the cashews, I love the kale all wilted in the spicy asian flavors, and for some reason the peeled carrots make this dish super exciting to me. You’ll like it and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make. Seriously, it’s probably about 10 minutes…. 

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Red Lentil Curry with Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potato Cubes

Red lentils are so easy.

They are fast cooking, easily spiced, and have lots of good healthy things in them. Fiber, iron, and protein are just a couple of the good things they give. This dish is super tasty, so that helps too. My kids love this meal and thought the sweet potato “french fry” cubes on the top were a fun addition. But if you’re not a sweet potato fan, leave them off and you still have a great curry.

We love this with some heated naan. I’ve made my own naan using this recipe, but have been getting the mini naan packages from costco recently instead. It’s fast, delicious, and everything warm bread should give you.

Speaking of bread – kids love bread.

I don’t know if your kids love bread as much as my kids, it’s pretty intense.

Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potato Cubes

When we have dinner, I don’t let them have any of their bread until their greens are gone and half of their other dish. Otherwise, the bread is gone and everything on the plate is left. We’ve done this for a while and it totally works. The kids know that this is what happens. They are incentivized to eat some good food and the carb heavy bread is a top off, rather than the meal. I’ll heat this bread and cover it in a towel to keep it warm until we’re ready to eat it…. 

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