Crispy Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts crispygnocchibrusselssproutsThis is one of those recipes that came together as a result of needing to cook things up before they went bad. Brussels sprouts are a relatively new food for me. I discovered over the fall that I really like them.  This recipe is quick, delicious, and satisfying.

What You’ll Need

1 small package gnocchi

1 small bag Brussels sprouts

1 TBSP minced garlic

2.5 TBSP Earth Balance butter

1 TSP onion powder

juice from 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese – I use Go Veggie! brand.

Tear off the dark green leaves from the sprouts. Cook the gnocchi. Save about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Melt the Earth Balance butter in a pan and add the gnocchi to crisp it up a bit. This should only take about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Now add the Brussels sprout leaves, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup cooking water. Stir until combined and cook another minute or so. Put it on a plate or eat it straight from the pan. I won’t judge. Enjoy!

Cheap And Non-Toxic Household Cleaners

non toxic cleanersI love cleaning.  Seriously.  I clean every day. I also love knowing it’s done in a safe, non-toxic way.  I am very mindful of what I use around my home.  We all also know I am cheap. Thankfully the two happen to go together quite nicely.  Here are the products I use around my home, their effectiveness, and why you should use them too.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide.  If you’re not currently using this, I urge you to run to your nearest dollar store and pick up a bottle.  Or twelve.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  It’s a miracle cleaner.  It is an excellent, odorless disinfectant. I use it to clean everything- cutting boards, kids toys, bathtub, kitchen sink, floors, and even as a bleach alternative in the laundry. I screw a sprayer on to the bottle, spray surfaces, let it sit a few minutes, and wipe away.  You’ll know it’s working because it’ll bubble.  I like imagining the bubbles are devouring the germs.

2. Vinegar.  Another amazing liquid.  Not only does it kill bacteria, it shines wood floors, cleans windows to a streak free shine, softens laundry (That’s right. It’s a fabric softener.  Slip a cup into the rinse cycle.  I promise your clothes will not smell like a giant salad.), and even repels fleas and ticks from your pets.

3. Baking Soda.  Combine it with a little water to form a paste and you have an amazing scrub.  I use this paste to clean my stove top. It also deodorizes rugs and removes smells from fridges. Sprinkle a little on your carpet, let sit 15 minutes then vacuum. Baking soda mixed with vinegar makes an excellent drain opener.

4. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.  Love this in peppermint.  It can literally be used for anything from washing dishes, laundry, floors, and even your hair. This is the most expensive of the products I use.  It averages about $10 a bottle, but it lasts quite a long time.

5. Lemons. They smell lovely and are fantastic for cleaning windows, removing grease stains from clothing, and killing germs from cutting boards.

These are the only cleaning supplies I have in my home.  They are cheap, effective, and take up very little space.  What amazing, natural products do you use?


Infused Water

photoI may be the thirstiest person on the planet.  I’m always chugging water.  I take it with me everywhere.  You name the type of water bottle, I probably own it.  I’m proud to say I’m passing this obsession on to my daughter.

Even though it’s my go to beverage, I occasionally tire of plain water.  Enter infused waters!  This time of year is particularly awesome for them because there is so much fresh, local produce available.  Making them couldn’t be easier.  Really.  All you need is a 2 quart container for your filtered water, cut up fruits, veggies, herbs, and a fridge. Throw it all together and chill overnight.   My two current favorites are cucumber, ginger, mint and pineapple, lemon, apple mint.  Play around with different combinations until you find ones you like.  Stay hydrated friends!