One Day Only!

I’m so excited about this deal I’m sending you a bonus email! Whether you are new to plant-based eating or not, the biggest obstacles are planning and actually preparing healthy food. That is why I have to share this deal!

Meal Mentor One Day Sale

This page contains affiliate links.

Today only, you can get the New Year’s Day Detox Bundle from Meal Mentor!

Meal Mentor is the meal planning membership by Happy Herbivore founder Lindsay S. Nixon. She helps you by planning all your vegan meals for the week. Each week, we give you 16 recipes and a shopping list. Most recipes each week can be made in 15 minutes or less. They always use simple and affordable ingredients.

You choose which recipes you want to eat. The shopping list makes getting groceries easy. That way you can skip a recipe if it you aren’t a fan. I know! I really need to learn to like kale.

You don’t have to spend your nights and weekends figuring out what’s for dinner. Take advantage of the Meal Mentor’s bundle and make 2018 the healthiest year yet!

Meal Mentor one day sale

What’s in Meal Mentor’s bundle?
  • 2018 Detox Plan
  • 1-year Annual Membership to Meal Mentor
  • Best of 2017 cookbook
  • Weight-loss Booklet
When you take advantage of the Meal Mentor’s Annual Meal Plan Membership Sale you get a year’s worth of meal plans 75% off! That’s 52 weeks, 52 meal plans, new recipes each week for only $179! (retail $728!)

Got Questions?

Every recipe is vegan (no eggs, no dairy)!

Every recipe is oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free! (And no hard-to-find ingredients. Ultra easy and fuss-free!)

Worried you won’t enjoy it? Get a 30 day money back guarantee if you are disappointed!

My son is in a wheelchair

Life has been crazy! You may have noticed that I haven’t been updating this website much over the last few months. I’ve been diligent to keep the weekly newsletter and Facebook going but it’s been pretty quiet here.

Photo from this summer.

I’ve written about my youngest son before. He is the one who had a bunch of food intolerances and a peanut allergy. Thankfully, a few years ago when we went for his annual allergy visit we were amazed to discover he was no long allergic to peanuts. His food intolerances were better too.

Now that same cute kid is in a wheelchair.

We still don’t know what exactly is wrong. He started having foot and ankle pain this summer. Sometimes he would limp and other times he was fine. We figured it was growing pains.

After school started this fall it got worse. He got to where he hobbled around. I got calls from the school nurse almost every day.

We saw specialists and got a lot of testing, no one could figure it out. Of course, all of that took weeks. Wait a couple of weeks for an appointment, then a week for the test, then a week for the reslults. Then one week he couldn’t put weight on one of his feet. Then next week, the other foot followed.

He is a seemingly healthy 6 year old who can’t stand. After hearing our referral to a neurologist would take months we went to the ER. They were wonderful and ran every test they could imagine. After 3 days they sent us home because they couldn’t figure it out.

That was a month and a half ago.

Before we got foot rests for the wheelchair.

We are thankful to have a great family friend and chiropractor who is helping us work with our family doctor to get answers. They are kind and patient and want to help our son and us deal with this crazy situation.

We are hopeful that the next few weeks will reveal some answers. I won’t share indepth medical information about my son online because he isn’t old enough to consent to that but I wanted you all to know why I’ve been absent.

My son has missed a lot of school, and continues to do so because of multiple appointments for physical therapy, doctor visits and tests. My husband and I have missed a lot of work too.

We are so thankful for all of you who come to this blog looking for recipes and meal plans. Every time you visit it helps my family because of the ads on this site that generate revenue. Even though you didn’t know it, your visit helped meet a need. Thank you!

Some of you saw my posts on Instagram and offered to pray. We thank you! We know that are thousands of people praying for him, many are people we’ve never met.

Friends and family have asked how our son is doing. Most of the time he is doing really well. He instinctively took to his wheelchair immediately and that made things easier. Other times he struggles, as we do, to deal with this. Just imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t stand or walk and didn’t know why or how to fix it. It’s a lot to deal with.

It may be a while before I’m back consistently. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and I’ll continue to share recipes, tips and updates. You can get plant-based tips every Saturday morning by signing up for my weekly email.

Farmers Market Shepherd’s Pie

This post is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Have you noticed how most of our holidays are food focused? And, it’s not just holidays, during big moments, both good and bad, we gather around food. I still remember sharing meals with my family as a child.

Our older children who are now adults reminisce about their favorite childhood meals. The meals we share with our kids will have a lasting impact on them. I believe creating healthy meals and enjoying them together will make your family stronger, both physically and relationally.

If you are looking for a meal that will bring a family together, look no further than this Farmers Market Shepherd’s Pie. It’s perfect for helpers!

Farmers Market Shepherd's Pie

I bought these beautiful veggies on a recent trip to the farmers market as part of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Nourishing Arizona campaign. If you want your family to get interested in eating more veggies, a trip to the farmers market is a great start!

I love that this whole meal (except maybe the lentils and spices) are grown locally! My son is slightly obsessed with wanting to become a gardener to grow all our food. We aren’t anywhere close to that but he does a great job of helping pick out fresh produce.

Farmers Market Shepherd's Pie

If your kids want to help and are old enough to use a knife, cutting veggies is an easy way for them to help. If not, they can wait until it’s time to mash the sweet potatoes. Even toddlers can help with the measuring after you do the cutting.

You can cook some parts of this Shepherd’s Pie in the Instant Pot. I cooked the potatoes in the Instant Pot while the other ingredients cooked on the stove. If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, you can bake or boil your potatoes. If baking, just wash your potatoes first, no need to peel them because you’ll be able to scoop the potato out of the skins. If boiling, peel and cut into manageable pieces.

Farmers Market Shepherd's Pie

Farmers Market Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is perfect for potlucks, especially if you don’t know if there will be healthy options.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 cup onion, diced and divided
  • 4 large sweet potatoes or yams
  • ¼ cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup dry lentils + 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free baking mix (you may substitute flour if you aren’t gluten-free)
  • 1 ½ cups soy milk

Cooking the Veggies

Put 1 cup of water into a large skillet. Add your cut green beans, sliced carrots, sliced celery, half the garlic and half the onion. Cover with the lid.

Cook the veggies for 10-15 minutes until they are tender-crisp or to your desired crispness.

Pour the veggies into a colander and let the extra liquid drip off until time to assemble. Use the skillet to make the sauce.

Cooking the Lentils

While the veggies are cooking, start cooking your lentils in a medium saucepan.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 cup of dry lentils and the remaining garlic and onion. You may season them with salt, pepper and other spices.

The lentils will need to cook for about 15 minutes. Most or all of the water will be absorbed. If not, carefully drain it off.

Cooking the Sweet Potatoes

I like cooking potatoes in the Instant Pot because it’s fast and easy. If you have an Instant Pot, wash the potatoes and place them on the wire rack with one cup of water below. Then cook them on manual for 15 minutes with natural pressure release.

Once done and cooled enough to handle, remove the potatoes from the pot, carefully remove the skin, then mash them with ¼ cup of soy milk and a sprinkle of salt.

Cooking the Sauce

The sauce requires constant attention, don’t start it until you can focus on it. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, onion powder to a bowl. Then add 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast and gluten-free baking mix (or flour if you aren’t gluten-free) and mix them together.

Dump that mixture into your skillet. Add 1 ½ cups soy milk and whisk all together. When the mixture starts to clump, alternate using a silicone spatula to smooth it out and scrape the bottom of the skillet, and a whisk to stir it up. You’ll need to keep stirring and scraping until the sauce is thick.

Assembling the Shepherd’s Pie

In a pie pan or 9×9 casserole dish, pour your cooked lentils. I like to take a fork and press them into the bottom to help them stick together a little.

Then, pour in the veggies that have been draining in the colander. Spread them around so they evenly cover the lentil layer.

Pour the sauce over the veggie layer. Give the casserole dish a little shake so that the sauce settles around the veggies.

Carefully scoop out one spoonful of mashed sweet potatoes at a time and plop it on top of the sauce layer. Repeat this until the whole casserole is covered in mashed sweet potatoes. Then you can use a spoon to smooth out the sweet potato layer.

Pop this in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes while everyone gets washed up for dinner.

Farmers Market Shepherd's Pie


You can adapt this recipe and make it using your favorite veggies too! Take a look at this infographic from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Nourishing Arizona campaign for more tips on picking fresh produce.

How to Pick Produce

 

Creating healthy meals with your family will make a big impact in their future. Eating healthy meals creates a culture where being healthy is a priority. Using real, whole foods and teaching your kids to prepare them will set them up for healthy eating later in life.

It may not be possible to eat every meal together but making it a part of your family’s routine is worth the effort. Years from now, your kids will tell stories about family traditions and the foods they remember eating, let’s make those good memories!

Cyber Monday Deals

I’m not much of a shopper if it means going to busy stores. You can count me in when it comes to online shopping! I found a bunch of great Cyber Monday deals on Amazon! This post will contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something after clicking on a link I share, I’ll make a small commission on it. Thank you!

All of these deals were available at the time I wrote this post. Some may have expired later in the day so hurry if you see something you love! I missed out on a few deals that were already 100% filled.

Instant Pot!

The Instant Pot 6-quart DUO Plus is a 9 in 1 electric pressure cooker! I don’t have this exact model (this one is fancier than mine) but if you’ve been wanting an Instant Pot you need to grab this one today! Save money and grab this one as a Christmas gift for $74.95!

Instant Pot Accessories

I also grabbed this Silicone Lid to use on with my Instant Pot! I’ve been thinking about getting another inner pot so that when one of full of soup in the fridge, I could have another pot to use. Check out other accessories that are on sale today!

High Speed Blender

I love my Blendtec blender! It’s never let me down! Today it’s $189.95.

If you’ve been holding out for a Vitamix today you can get one for only $298.95! 

Silicone Baking Mats

Silicone Baking Mats are a must for oil-free cooking! This is a great deal!

There are also great deals on pots, pans, knives, juicers and so much more!

Healthy Eating at Home

This post is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

One of the big benefits of living in a warm place like Arizona is that the weather is beautiful! Even though the temperatures are slowly dropping, our winter weather is lovely and allows us to spend most of the fall and winter outside, usually without a coat.

Eating Healthy at Home starts with great ingredients.

Another benefit of this glorious weather is the longer growing season. Local farmers and gardeners don’t follow the same planting season as other areas of the country. Here, many crops are still going strong.

On a recent visit to a local farmers market I got to see this first hand. If you are struggling to eat healthy, a farmers market is just the inspiration you need.

Uptown Farmers Market Phoenix AZ

Family Trip to the Farmers Market

Farmers markets are a great place to bring your family. I think kids will have a new appreciation for fresh produce when they see it at a farmers market. Some vendors even have fruit for sampling. Who can resist that? They can also answer your questions about how the food was grown and new ways to prepare it.

The Uptown Market in Phoenix is a family-friendly place with an abundance of fresh veggies and fruit. You could easily do your weekly meal planning based on local finds.

Farmers Market Veggies

I filled my bag with potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, beans and much more. I bought the best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had! If I had planned better, I would have brought a hand cart so I could buy more!

We had family visiting us from out of state and I wanted to show them how great healthy food could taste. They were impressed with the vivid colors and flavors!

Fresh Heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market

Eating at Home

Instead of eating out several nights a week, start a new tradition of fixing healthy meals together using fresh ingredients. If you have a local farmers market, make that part of the tradition too!

In most cases, food you make at home will be healthier than food you purchase at a restaurant. Spend a little time shopping for fresh ingredients that you will enjoy all week. My farmers market veggies seemed to last longer than veggies I buy at the store. I’m sure there was less transport and storage time.

Fresh veggies from the farmers market

Even though it seems easier to go out to eat some nights, I feel like it actually takes longer. Between driving to a restaurant, waiting for our dinner and then eating, I could have cooked a meal, enjoyed it and cleaned up in the same amount of time.

Cultivating a Love of Healthy Eating

On days I let my kids help; it does take longer to prepare dinner. I’m not really a patient mom when it comes to cooking with my kids, but I know it’s important. The time I spend teaching my kids to prep, cook and enjoy healthy foods is an investment in their future. Cultivating this love is easier to do when your kids are small.

My eight year old takes pride in helping make dinner. A couple of times a month we have a baked potato night. He will wash the potatoes and put them in our electric pressure cooker. He is so proud that he can cook dinner for the family.

Fresh veggies from the farmers market

The next time I visit a farmers market, I plan to give each of my kids their own bag and a few dollars to make their own purchases. Everything I bought was surprisingly affordable, sometimes much cheaper than my grocery store.

When kids have a say in what they buy, they will be more likely to actually eat it. Go ahead and encourage your kids to choose their favorite veggies, have them pick one more new thing to try. Maybe they’ll discover they love zucchini or heirloom tomatoes.

Learn to eat healthier my choosing fresh veggies.

Sugar Swap

Make sure to take in all the farmers market has to offer. The Uptown Market recently had a really fun event sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s Nourishing Arizona initiative. People could bring in candy (it was right after Halloween) or other sugary treats and exchange them for five Homegrown Healthy Bucks at a Sugar Swap! The candy wrappers were used to create art and the Homegrown Healthy Bucks could be used to purchase fresh produce.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona at the Uptown Market in Phoenix.

Does your family visit farmers markets? How do you encourage eating healthy at home?

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