Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Make Dinner with Me: Vegan Burrito Bowls

Join me and my family for a fun new video series called, “Make Dinner with Me” where I trade in my usual video format for a more candid look at some of our favorite kid-friendly vegan dinner recipes. First up are Vegan Burrito Bowls that we make with quinoa, roasted veggies, beans, cashew cheese, salsa, and guacamole. Enjoy the craziness!



RECIPE:
"Vegan Burrito Bowls”

Ingredients:
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 organic red pepper
  • 1 organic green pepper
  • 1- pkg. Large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry organic quinoa (http://go.magik.ly/ml/1ax/)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 1 bag organic tortilla chips
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro
  • Spices for veggies: cumin, chili powder, salt
Steps:
  1. Add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water to a rice cooker (here’s the one I use) and cook until done, keep on warm until ready to serve.
  2. Chop and saute all the peppers and onion on Medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the water releases. Then season with a pinch of cumin, a few shakes of chili powder, and salt to taste then set aside.
  3. Drain and pour the cans of beans and corn into separate sauce pans and put on Medium Low so they can warm (add salt if needed).
  4. Put salsa, guacamole, cashew cheese, and chopped cilantro in separate bowls to create an assembly line with the other ingredients.
  5. Now go through the “burrito bowl assembly line” and serve up with the quinoa, roasted veggies, beans, corn, salsa, guacamole, cashew cheese, and cilantro...oh and don’t forget the tortilla chips for dipping!
Vegan Cashew Cheese Ingredients
(Inspired by Cafe Gratitude's Nacho Cashew Cheese)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews, soaked for several hours (or at least 1 hour) (http://go.magik.ly/r/ashleysgreenlife/b86a/)
  • 3/4 cup water (or a little less)
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon nutritional yeast (http://go.magik.ly/r/ashleysgreenlife/15612/)
  • ¼  Tablespoon salt
  • ¼ Tablespoon arrowroot powder (http://go.magik.ly/r/ashleysgreenlife/b45d/)
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder (http://go.magik.ly/ml/3rb7/)
Steps:
  1. Soak 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews in water for 6-8 hours, or at least 2.
  2. Then rinse the cashews, pour them in the blender and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Blend for about a minute or two until completely smooth.
  4. Place leftovers in a container in the fridge, will keep for 2-3 days



PRODUCTS MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO:

Thanks for watching! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @ashleysgreenlife if you try this recipe!

Parenting Hack: Motivating Kids to Brush Their Teeth

We’ve all been there before; battling it out with our kids to get them to not only WANT to brush their teeth, but to brush their teeth  LONG enough to actually do something to prevent cavities. But battle no more, with today’s  “Parenting Hack” I’ll show you a fun and easy way to motivate kids to brush their teeth that will leave everyone smiling (and with clean teeth!).


The magic trick that has really changed the way my girls brush their teeth is an app for your phone called, "Disney Magic Timer by Oral-B" it is basically a timer that runs for two minutes and as your child is watching and brushing their teeth, a scene of their favorite Disney character is uncovered. Here's a link to the Oral-B website, as well as a link to the app in iTunes, and a link to the app on Google Play.


As simple as it sounds, my kids have really improved in their toothbrushing since we've started using it, not only by increasing the time they brush but also in their effectiveness of the brushing too.

One catch to using the app is that it has to be with Oral-B toothbrushes, and whatever character toothbrush you have that's the scenes you will see when brushing. Want a new character scene? Well then you need to buy a new toothbrush. Here's a few favorites you might like: DoryAvengersStar WarsDoc McStuffins, and Princesses.


But aside from that, it's pretty simple to set up. You first set up your child's name/profile, then they can choose a character to brush with. From there you scan their toothbrush and then it starts a countdown. Once it starts the timer begins for 2 minutes and a scene is shown, but covered in bubbles. As your child brushes, the scene become more clear. During this time music also plays, which my girls love and it makes the brushing time much more fun.


See them brushing here...



In case you're wondering my two favorite “green” kid’s toothpastes that are fluoride-free are:
Xlear Spry Tooth Gel and The Honest Company Strawberry Blast Toothpaste.

After they are done, the scene is revealed and they get to save it as a sticker which goes in their "sticker book." Each character they have gets a sticker book and they can look back through and see all the stickers they have earned so far.


So there you have it, my simple parenting hack for getting kids to brush their teeth: just get the app!
Again here's a link to the Oral-B website, as well as a link to the app in iTunes, and a link to the app on Google Play.


Do you have any other toothbrushing hacks or tips to get your kids to brush their teeth? Share below!
Also, see my other favorite green kid products here on my "Obsessed with It" page (scroll to the very bottom of the page to find my “Green Kids section”.

Disclaimer: This was not a sponsored post, just my honest review of the app...which we love!


My Favorite Eco-Friendly Rug Pads

When buying new areas rugs this summer I thought all I needed were the rugs...wrong! Rug pads are a crucial part of having a rug pad not only to keep it in place but also to make it more comfortable. The problem is that most traditional rug pads are made with glues and adhesives that off-gas. But after searching the market, I discovered that some greener alternatives do exist and one of those is Rug Pad Corner



They offer a variety of rug pads that are made from recycled fibers, natural rubber, and contain no glues, adhesives so there is no off-gassing. One of the ways they are able to ditch the toxic glues and adhesives is by using heat pressing to press together the felt fibers of the rug pads...yeah for greenness and not toxic-ness! On top of this the rugs are hypoallergenic and are resistant to mold and mildew.

So I reached out Rug Pad Corner to see if they would let me try some of their green rug pads and they were nice enough to send me some and that we now walk on daily.




The first place I needed a rug pad was in my kitchen. As you can see, the dark floors plus dark table was needing some brightness and color to break up all the dark wood.



The rug pad I was sent for that area is called a Superior Thick Felt Rug Pad and I placed this rug pad under this rug: Dash and Albert Diamond Handwoven Yellow Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug (5’ x 8’ for the one linked, but the one in my dining room is 6’ x 9’ in case you’re wondering).


What's unique about this one is that it doesn't have a natural rubber backing like the one I will share next because this one was going under my dining room table which would hold it in place. But in my living room, the rug pad is in the center of the room with little to no furniture on top of it so it needed a little extra non-slip help.

The finished look. 

And the second place I needed a rug pad was in my living room, which was also looking very dark with the dark floors and dark furniture.




This one has the natural rubber backing. 
The rug pad I was sent for that area is called an Ultra Premium Non Slip Rug Pad which I originally placed under my Dayln Rug Co. Cabana Hand-Tufted Robin’s Egg Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug (5’ x 7’6”).



But then I realized my dogs' nails were gradually ripping up so I had to swap it for a shag rug they wouldn't damage and I also decided to upgrade the size to better fill the space (and so I swapped out the rug pad to be a larger size as well).  Here's the new rug I chose: Safavieh Dallas Shag Light Blue Ivory Trellis Rug (6’ x 9’)


So there you have it, my favorite eco-friendly rug pads and how I use them in my home. If you are in the market for a more eco-friendly type of rug pad be sure to check out Rug Pad Corner. What kind of rug pads do you like to use or do you use any at all? Share below


Disclaimer: Rug Pad Corner sent me these rug pads to try for free to try for this video, all views expressed are my own.

Parenting Hack: It's OK to Wake Alarm Clock

First up in my new “Parenting Hacks” series is a video about how to help your kids know when it is “ok to wake” in the morning and come out of their room.  I don't know about you, but I've struggled for short periods of time with both of my girls waking up at random times during the night and early morning, thinking it was a-okay to just come on out of their room. So in desperation I searched the internet to find what I could use or if a special way to teach them when it was time to come out and then I found something simple, easy and fun...


It's an OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night Light that you set to a certain time and each day a green light goes off on the clock to signal your child that it is now "ok" to wake up and come out of their room.


Right off the bat I loved the simplicity of this alarm clock and how it was easy for me to teach my kids to only come out when the light is green, and if it's not green that they needed to stay in their room.



Obviously when you're choosing what time you want your child to wake up at, you'll want to find one that's not too late that they end up in their room for a super long time after they have woken up, but you also don't want it too early so that they sleep right through it (it stays lit up for 30 minutes).  For me I set it for 6:50, this goes for weekends and weekdays...because we all know it makes no difference to young kids!  The reason I chose this time is that they both usually wake up between 6:40 and 7:00 on any given day sometimes later, sometimes earlier and this time was the perfect middle ground.


I also make exceptions that they can come out of their room if there's an emergency or if they have to go to the bathroom, we just say it's not time to "come out and start your day" until the light turns green. And right now Avery is 5 and Mila is 3, and they understand it pretty well and follow it diligently...meaning on most mornings the second the clock hits 6:50 I hear footsteps running down the stairs ready to get ehir breakfast.

I personally love the wake up light because it gives me extra time and peace in the morning, knowing I can get everything I need done  like working out, making lunches, and getting ready for work all before that light turns on, as opposed to some mornings they get up at 6:00 and other mornings 7:15. I think they also like the predictability of it too.


So there you have it, the OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night Light, my favorite parenting hack for helping my kids know when they can come out of their rooms in the morning. What's your favorite way to teach or show your kids that they can come out in the morning? Or have you ever tired a wake up light device? Share below!

Also, see this and my other favorite green kid products here on my "Obsessed with It" page (scroll to the very bottom of the page to find my “Green Kids section”.


Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money and this is my honest opinion of it.


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