Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Homemade Frozen Burritos

Possibly one of the hardest things for me to figure out since getting married has been how to cook enough food for dinners and then have enough for lunch... I don't like sandwiches, so there aren't a lot of easy lunch options for me... My hubby would be fine eating a PB&J everyday, but I wanted to give him something to look forward to for lunch most days. I started sometimes buying frozen burritos (the healthier ones), but I didn't want to keep paying $3 for each burrito that wasn't even that good or healthy. So then I had a light bulb moment and realized that I could probably make my own burritos and freeze them for those days when there weren't leftovers or we were rushed to get out the door. The results were some amazing homemade burritos! I love them and so does my hubby :-) 

For us, there's just something about a breakfast burrito, so I've been making all of them more breakfast-y even though we eat them for lunch. I make batches of 10ish at a time, so my tiny kitchen gets a bit chaotic, but it's worth it!

Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos (for lunch)

  • 12 eggs
  • Sweet potatoes, approximately 2 pounds
  • Some kind of meat (I use either sausage or seasoned ground beef)
  • Salsa
  • Anything else I feel like adding (black beans, cheese, mushrooms, onion, etc)
When making these, I use two pans - one for the sweet potatoes and one for the meat and then the eggs. 
1. Cut up sweet potatoes and cook in a large frying pan
2. Meanwhile, cook the meat - along with any veggies or anything else that needs cooking. When the meat is done (it probably won't take as long as the sweet potatoes), move it to a bowl and cook the eggs in the meat pan. 
3. When the eggs are almost done, add the salsa
4. When everything is cooked, assemble the burritos with a spoonful of meat, spoonful of eggs, and a spoonful of sweet potatoes
5. Heat a griddle to medium heat. Put the rolled up burritos fold-side down in the pan (I can fit 4 at a time on my pan). Heat until light brown and sealed shut, then turn and heat until golden brown. 
6. Remove from the pan and let cool. Then wrap in foil or cling film and freeze or refrigerate.

To heat from frozen, microwave for 3 minutes or heat in the oven.

Homemade Flax Seed Hair Gel

With my super curly hair, I've spent a TON of money on various hair products. I finally found something that worked well, but I was spending around $20 each month on hair products... When I got married, this just didn't fit in the budget, so I started researching how to make my own gel. The gel I'd bought was flax based, so I started there (and never had to look elsewhere). I still need to get slightly better at making each batch consistently the same texture, but it all works. It actually works really really well and I end up spending about $0.10 a bottle rather than $8 a bottle! Even though the hold of my homemade gel isn't quite as good as the stuff I used to buy, I can use more since it's so cheap and the end result is the same!

Homemade Flax Seed Hair Gel

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp (ish) vitamin E oil
  • essentials oils/scents (I use coconut and passion fruit)
  • Nylon knee-high (the cheap ones from the drug store)
1. Put water and flax seeds into a pot and bring to a boil, stirring often
2. Boil for around 10 minutes, or until a white frothy gel like liquid forms
3. Let cool slightly and poor into the nylon knee-high. Squeeze out the gel using tongs
4. Mix in the vitamin E oil and scented oils
5. Store in an air tight container. I find that an 8 oz bottle lasts about a week and is fine to be left at room temperature. I store the rest of the batch in the fridge and use it the following week.

Almond Pulp Macaroons

Another one of my favorite things to make from almond pulp (after making almond milk) is almond pulp macaroons. They're a great snack and especially tasty with a cup of tea! 

Almond Pulp Macaroons

  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk pulp
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • dark chocolate, optional
1. Place almond milk pulp in a warm oven to dry out (unless you live somewhere dry, then you can just leave it out on the counter and it will dry out in a few hours)
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
3. Mix dry ingredients together
4. Add honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. Mix thoroughly until well combined - it will be crumbly
5. Form mixture into tight balls and place on lined baking sheet. Note: if it will not stick together, add more honey
6. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown
7. Let cookies cool, then dip in melted dark chocolate

Almond Pulp Granola

After making homemade almond milk for the first time, I realized I would need something to do with all of the almond pulp leftover. At first I added it to my oatmeal and made cookies out of it (future blog post!). But I think my favorite thing to make with it (at least right now) is almond pulp granola. I eat it for breakfast with a mixture of half homemade coconut milk and half almond milk.

Almond Pulp Granola

    • 2/3 cup almond pulp
    • 1/4 cup slightly chopped pistacios
    • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (or coconut pulp from making coconut milk)
    • 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
    • 3 Tablespoons honey
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/3 cup (or more) dried fruit - I use chopped unsulfured apricots, cherries, and sultanas (golden raisins)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the almond pulp on a non-stick cookie sheet and into the oven for 15-20 minutes to dry out.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  4. Mix the cooled pulp with the pistachios, seeds, coconut, and cinnamon.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the melted coconut oil with the honey and vanilla.
  6. Mix everything together (the ingredients should be slightly wet…not dripping and not too dry)
  7. Pour everything back onto the cookie sheet and place into the oven.
  8. Let bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove and stir.
  10. Replace the pan and bake for 15-20 more minutes until lightly browned, stirring every 5 minutes.
  11. Remove and allow to cool (it will crisp up more while cooling).
  12. Stir in the dried fruit and enjoy!
The Finished Product!

A Little Update

So... clearly I didn't do a good job at blogging... But today I'm going to spend some time adding some new recipes and other things.

Since my last blog post, our apartment flooded (only minor, none of our stuff got damaged, but they did have to tear out some walls), my hubby has worked hard on job applications, I went to South Korea to visit friends, we started a class with our church, I took a last-minute trip to England, and we traveled to Colorado and then Hood River for Christmas. It's been a roller coaster, but in the end, we have a lot of joy and thankfulness for what God is doing in our lives and in our marriage.

I spent a good chunk of last year working on knitting us Christmas stockings. I definitely wasn't expecting to have both finished by Christmas, but during my trip to England, I had some time and I ended up finishing! Since they took me about 13 months to complete, I thought I'd post a picture :-)

Christmas 2013

So far this year is off to a good start - the weather has been very gloomy for the past 2 weeks, but I guess that's normal for Seattle... I don't like "New Year's Resolutions" and I'm not very good at reflecting on the past year, but I'm growing in that. So I have a few things that I want to work on this year:
    1. Occasionally writing down some thoughts (either on this blog or in a journal),
    2. Keep a prayer journal - I'd love to be able to look back and see how God has answered prayers
    3. Stay around after church to talk to people - as our little church plant has grown to around 250 people in attendance each Sunday, I've found it harder and harder to talk to people after church because I feel like there are so many new faces.  

Okay, that's about it for this post! Now on to the yummy recipes!