Tasty Tuesday: Taco Pasta

 

 

Today’s recipe is from BuzzFeed.  It is the combination of TWO awesome things – tacos and pasta.  A quick and easy meal, the kids will love.

The recipe will serve 10 – 12 people.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
  • Pepper
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Brown beef in a large quart pot over medium/high heat. Drain fat and return beef to pot.

2. Add taco seasoning, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and corn. Bring to a boil.

3. Add uncooked macaroni and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15

minutes (until pasta is cooked through). Stir occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover.

5. Serve once cheese is melted!

Headed to a covered dish party? Place your pan in Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set and head out the door.  It expands to hold two 9” x 13” casserole pans inside 2 interior water-resistant thermal compartments. Handle grips make it easy to carry, while the exterior zipper pocket can keep additional items like utensils, baking instructions and additional ingredients secure during transport. It’s the most convenient way to take your favorite casseroles, desserts, appetizers and more to your next family picnic, neighborhood cookout, celebration or camping trip!

OR if you just want to take some leftovers for lunch….Check out the Lunchbreak Thermal.  It is one of my favorites and it is on the retirement list so it will be gone at the end of February.  Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday – Spaghetti Squash Boats

delish-taco-spaghetti-squash-still002-1527256416.jpgIt’s SUPER easy to make this recipe vegetarian. Simply sub out the beef for extra veggies! Bell peppers, spinach, and red onions would all be great additions.

Prep Time:  15 MINS     Total Time:  1 HOUR 10 MINS     Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS  FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH

2 medium spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 1/2 c. chopped cherry tomatoes
1 c. corn, canned and drained or frozen
1 c. shredded Monterey jack
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle cut sides of spaghetti squash with oil and season with salt, chili powder, and cumin. Place cut side down on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Using a fork, break up squash strands.
  2. Meanwhile, make filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  3. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain fat.
  4. Stir in taco seasoning, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn.
  5. Fill each spaghetti squash with beef mixture and top with cheeses. Return to oven to melt cheese, 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

The best thing to do with leftovers is to take them for lunch the next day, right?  Thirty One’s Lunch Break Thermal is perfect for lunches.  Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. The extended handles allow you to tote this bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!  You can personalize it too; ensuring no one steals your lunch.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Getting Organized: Bedroom

I don’t know about you but our bedroom (and even the spare room) becomes a haven for collecting “stuff”.  I mean it is usually a secluded part of the house and is unseen by guests unless of course they are overnight guests.  LOL.
I have found when our bedroom is organized it makes a HUGE impact on my life – I don’t have as much brain fog and I see to be more focused.  The bedroom is the foundation of where you begin every day, an organized bedroom helps you wake up with the mindset to conquer the day’s challenges and enable you to get each day started on the right foot.

Here are a few ways to organize (easy and cost-free):

  • Give away or toss what you don’t use.
  • Sort out off-season clothes for separate storage.
  • Move non-bedroom items out and store them in other parts of the house.
  • Make your bed daily – it’s a quick and easy way to declutter the look of your room.

Once you’ve cleaned out some of the clutter,  you will have a better idea of what you need to store what’s left.  To save money, you want to find ways to use your current storage as efficiently as possible and invest in items which will help round out your bedroom set and expand your storage space.

Next step….

Drawer organizers – socks and underwear drawers are usually the messiest, right?  I toss mine in baskets to make it easy.  How about organizing your drawers with drawer dividers or honeycomb-style organizers to keep things moving on busy mornings.  You can pick some of these up in the dollar store.

Closet systems – We have two SMALL bedroom closets.  So for mine, we added an extra rack which helps to keep my clothes organized with long items on one side of the closet shirts and tops are on also on the top rack with pants on the bottom row.

I put the things don’t use often on the top shelf in a Thirty One Your Way Cube. The clear window lets me see what is in there in case I forget!  I store off-season clothing and extra linens in Thirty One’s large utility totes with lids.

Shoe rack, shoe tree or shoe ladder – keep your shoes in their best shape and easy to find with a shoe organizer. Double the space at the bottom of your closet with a couple of shoe shelves.

Another Option is to Add Storage………

Look at your bedroom pieces and add missing items which offer extra storage including a dresser stack, nightstands, chest of drawer, storage bed, storage bench and media stand. Storage beds and headboards – bed frames can boast the bed to product under-bed storage making the most of unused space.  It is also a great place to store extra linens and off-season clothing. Headboards with built in bookshelves and compartments offer valuable space to keep books, clocks and bedside necessities handy and organized.

Swap out your night table for something biggernight tables keep a few things handy, but they don’t help you stay organized. Choose a two drawer nightstand instead or if you need more storage space, upgrade to a small dresser.

Dresser stack – add a couple of extra storage drawers with a dresser stack, attaching to the top of a matching dresser many offer a contemporary asymmetric look.

Bedroom chest – a chest, chest of drawers, bureau or gentleman’s chest typically have a profile that is taller and more narrow than a dresser. This is great if you are tight on floor space because it increases storage space with a vertical stance.

Accessories and Extra Pieces

Look for extra pieces that might not be part typical bedroom sets to add extra storage and utility to your room. When shopping for these pieces you can choose to match similar wood tones to the furnishings you have already or choose contrasting finishes to create an accent in your room.

Bookshelves – are not just for living rooms and home offices, bookcases can help you keep things organized, utilize baskets and boxes on lower shelves to conceal clutter.  I have one in our bedroom.

Storage bench – placed at the foot of your bed (ours is off to the side), offers the perfect place to keep throw pillows and extra blankets handy while doubling as a handy spot sit when you lace up your shoes.

Hall tree – the one in our bedroom was made by my grandfather MANY years ago.  It is  place to hang tomorrow’s outfit or keep last minute wardrobe changes off of the floor.

Today’s tips are courtesy of Furniture.com.. be sure to check out their bedroom sets and other home furnishings at a store near you.  I did not receive any compensation for sharing their information in this blog post.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Southwest Chicken Kale Salad

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Thank you Hungry Girl for another AMAZING recipe.  I never get tired of salad!

This is a refreshing compliment to summer’s hot dogs, hamburgers, and other BBQ fare.  This zesty recipe makes two huge and satisfying meals… but it can also double as a multi-serving side dish!

1/2 of recipe (about 7 cups): 307 calories, 3g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 827mg sodium, 39g carbs, 9g fiber, 12.5g sugars, 34.5g protein — PointsPlus® value 7* — SmartPoints® value 4*  MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Prep: 15 minutes     Chill: 1 – 2 hours

Ingredients:

Salad
8 cups chopped kale leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeño peppers
6 oz. cooked and chopped skinless chicken breast

Dressing
1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix

Directions:

  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until uniform. Add dressing to salad, and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours, to allow flavors to develop.

Whether you are taking your salad to work for lunch or eating it outside on your porch, the perfect thermal to keep your drinks cold is Thirty One’s Bring a Bottle Thermal.

Celebrate Thirty-One’s 15th anniversary year with this Customer-favorite bring-back style! Use this handy single-bottle thermal for school, work and travel. Our insulated drawstring cooler pouch keeps up to a 20-oz. bottle of water, milk or other drinks cold on the go. Includes a carabiner to clip on your gym bag, diaper bag, bike, golf bag or sports bag.

It will even hold a 750ml bottle of wine.

 

 

 

 

Add a strap from the Studio by Thirty One collection to make it hands free carrying when you are walking.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Cranberry Tuna Slaw

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I’m a total salad girl!  I eat some variation of a salad every day for either lunch or dinner and sometimes BOTH!  I love finding new options to make.  Check out this one from Hungry Girl!

1/4th of recipe (about 1 1/3 cups): 118 calories, 2g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 270mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 8.5g protein, Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 3*

Prep: 5 minutes     Chill: 15 minutes    MAKES 4 SERVING

Ingredients:

4 cups broccoli cole slaw (about one 10-oz. container or one 12-oz. bag)
1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup light sesame ginger dressing (like Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing)
One 5-oz. can albacore tuna packed in water
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tsp. sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Place slaw, chopped water chestnuts, and chopped cranberries in a large bowl. Add dressing, and stir to coat.
  2. Drain tuna, add to the bowl, and stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes.
  3. Serve topped with scallions and sesame seeds.

NOTE;  Double the recipe and it is a great salad for an upcoming picnic.

There is no better way to carry your salad (for lunch or a picnic) then in a Thirty One thermal.  So many options to pick from….

Check out the options for lunch, each one will meet a different need depending on what you carry for lunch…

      SHHH!!! I have a secret.  Thirty One’s lunch tote thermals will be on SALE in July.  Stay tuned for more details.

Headed to a picnic or the farmer’s market, check out this thermal…..

Need help pick out the thermal best for you, message me and I will be glad to answer any questions.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!