Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Category: Food

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté

I have been gaining courage in the kitchen lately and decided to finally cook on the stove. This may seem normal for most people, but I have always been more of a television dinner kind of girl, so I am sort of just learning as I go, but I am actually enjoying creating new dishes in our kitchen, so expect more recipes in the future!

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté


1. Whole Kernel Sweet Corn – 2 cups

2. Cooked Black Beans – 2 cups

3. Yellow Onion – 1 cup chopped

4. Sweet Potatoes – 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 TBSP

6. Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle Season Blend Salt-Free – 1 1/2 TSP


1. Pour 2 TBSP Olive Oil and 1 1/2 TSP seasoning onto a pan over medium high heat, until it evenly spreads onto the pan.

2. Add the corn, black beans, onion and sweet potatoes in the pan

3. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until potatoes are completely cooked

This recipe serves 4. Each serving is 314 calories.

I was very happy with how it turned out and it was super simple to make. I used it as a side dish when we made spicy black bean veggie burgers and it was the perfect addition to our meal!

October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

I have been waiting to post about my first experience with trying out the Foodie Penpals exchange! It is finally the end of the month so it is now time for me to reveal the goodies I received and to recap a bit about my first experience with the exchange.

I really love the concept of Foodie Penpals, it is really exciting to receive fun new foods in the mail (and actually just as fun to shop for someone else)! For the record, the person that you send items to and the person that sends you items are two different people!

My experience with the Foodie Penpal I was assigned to send goodies to:

I had a ton of fun shopping for my penpal, I put a lot of effort into picking items that I thought she would like and that were unique to my area and that were tailored around her dietary restrictions. I put a note on each item explaining why I sent it each one. I was very excited for my penpal to receive her goodies so I could hear what she thought about them, so I even sent the package out priority mail to get it to her quickly. Well, I never heard from her, I never received an email from her, not even a quick “thank you”, it honestly bummed me out. I didn’t really expect her to thank me over and over again or anything, but just a simple “thank you” would have been nice to hear.

My experience with the Foodie Penpal who was assigned to send me goodies:

Carrie (her blog is Aunt on the Run ) was super prompt with emailing me to find out my information and she was very quick with getting my goodies sent out to me! I was her first Foodie Penpal so I thought that was neat, since it was also my first month trying it out! Here is what Carrie sent me:

Carrie sent me the following: A jar of PB2 (I actually love this stuff so it was a great pick), an almond & sea salt in dark chocolate candy bar (this was devoured seconds after this picture was taken, delicious!), a Thunderbird bar (I was skeptical of this, I was a bit nervous that I would hate it, but I was actually very pleasantly surprised, it was great), a local blend of coffee from her area (I haven’t tried this yet, I rarely drink coffee at home, but it will be great for a cold winter day), a box of couscous (I haven’t used yet because of calorie restrictions in my diet, but will be great on a cheat day/high calorie day) and The Salt Lick BBQ sauce that is from a local place in her town (I haven’t tried it yet, again because of calorie restrictions, but I am actually really excited to get the chance to try it)! Carrie also included a great recipe for couscous with shrimp that I look forward to trying and a super nice card (also very festive for the month of October)! Carrie was a great Foodie Penpal! I am lucky to have had someone so excited about the exchange as well!

Overall it was fun to try out the Food Penpals, I had an OKAY overall experience. I had fun shopping, I received a great package, but I didn’t get any feedback or thank you from who I sent to.

Will I be participating in the Foodie Penpals again? Possibly. I have a lot going on in my life at the moment, so I may not participate in the month of November, I haven’t quite decided yet. But there is a very good chance that I will give it another go in the future!

Tips on How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

Tips on How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

Want to have fresh and organic vegetables grown in your own garden? There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own vegetables. They taste delicious and much healthier than any organic vegetable you get from the store. You are sure to be bowled over by the juicy, sweet flavor and lively textures of home grown vegetables.

But not many people try their hand at growing a vegetable garden because they think it is an overwhelming task. This is not true.

Here are some essential tips that will make the entire process from choosing the right location and vegetables to getting a good yield an effortless task. These tips will show you can definitely grow your own vegetable garden easily.

Begin small

When you are just starting out, it is wise to confine the gardening to a small space. Don’t go overboard with the planting and end up with more than you can eat or need.

A favorable size for beginners would be around 16 by 10 feet. This size can easily feed four persons for the summer and leave you plenty behind for freezing and canning or for giving away.

Start with 11 rows with each of the rows being 10 feet in length. To get the full effect of sunlight make sure the rows are in the north south direction.

Vegetables to start with

If you want to get adept at gardening, it is best to start with vegetables that need very little attention but give a good yield like beets, carrots, cabbage, beans, radishes, lettuce, turnips and spinach. These give you multiple crops in a single season.

Planting tips

Sunny space: Choose an area that receives sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.

Soil:  Soft soil lets the roots penetrate easily. So, choose loamy soil and enrich it with compost. Ensure there is proper drainage of water.

Compost: Spread compost in late fall season after harvesting, cover with winter mulch like chopped leaves or hay. In spring, the compost would be ripe to work for you. Apply twice a week before planting as it needs adequate time to stabilize and integrate with the soil.

Pest free soil: Plants such as onions, garlic, chrysanthemums and chives repel insects. Grow such plants to repel insects. Healthy soil can easily resist disease and pests, and you can avoid harmful pesticides. Use soil amendments and organic fertilizers, which earthworms love. These are very good for vegetable growth.

Choosing the right vegetables and plants

Opt for plants that grow well in your locality and are suited to the area. Started plants are better than seeds as the harvest time is shorter. If you are partial to vining vegetables grow your cucumbers, squash and melons on a fence or vertical trellis. This is space saving and looks appealing too.

Start on the peas indoors to increase the germination rate. You will get healthier seedlings that are resistant to disease and pests. Try companion planting which keeps the plants with sufficient nutrients and even wards off pests effectively.

When you plan it appropriately, a stunning garden brimming with healthy vegetables will be much easier than you had ever imagined. You will not have to toil for hours to get the results. By combining flowers and vegetables, you can also make the landscape a potential beauty to behold.