recipes. a few of our favorites for the Lenten season.

Lent. The forty days of fasting, prayer and service leading up to Easter, beginning Ash Wednesday. When I was younger, I never really “got it”. I didn’t enjoy nor welcome the solemnity or extra giving of myself these several weeks before Easter were supposed to require. After all, shouldn’t our days always include service, prayer and giving of ourselves. Why were “these” so special? However, the more years I gain the more I understand. It’s kind of like that new start and those resolutions we make at the start of a new year. “Lent comes to reawaken and shake us from our lethargy.” – Pope Francis

Here are some foods we enjoy all year round but also nicely fit into the Lenten season.

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Recipes:

1 – Roasted Cauliflower Soup

This recipe is my “go to” and has it states there are many different variations. Feel free to leave out the cream, add greens or beans, etc. On this particular occasion I left off the hot sauce because I was sharing with the baby (my first photo).

In my second photo, I didn’t use the cream and instead of making it a purée I just used the pulse setting and chopped (and then added a little cheese).

2 – Honey Ginger Shrimp

I found this recipe of Ayesha Curry’s a week and a half ago and have already made it twice. The flavor is just so fantastic! Not to mention, the whole recipe from start to finish takes less than thirty minutes and requires few and simple ingredients.

3 – Wild Rice Soup

I love this soup! And even though it’s called Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup it’s perfect for a cool Spring day as well (especially those ones leading up to Easter requiring no meat). It’s packed full of veggies and really so delicious.

Plus, most of the ingredients are common and ones you might already have in your fridge or pantry.

Variation: Add baked and then shredded chicken. I did this a couple of times this past winter.

4 – Southwestern Frittata (minus the meat)

(from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain – Meals Made Simple Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef (or negate for a meat free Lenten meal)

1/2 cup diced sweet potato, peeled

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 1/2 teaspoons Taco Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup diced zucchini

10 large eggs, beaten

(salsa, chopped cilantro or sliced avocado for serving)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In an ovenproof 10 inch skillet over medium heat, sauté the beef, sweet potato, onion, taco seasoning and salt for 6 minutes, until the meat is mostly cooked through.

Add the spinach and zucchini and cook for 4 more minutes.

Pour the eggs into the pan and bake in the oven for 12 minutes, until the eggs have puffed up and are cooked through.

*I have also transferred all to a glass baking dish before adding in the eggs (like the above photo). Which perhaps makes it not as much “frittata-like” but a bit fluffier and just as tasty.

5 – Lime and Thyme Carrots with Salmon

(from John Whaite’s Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients Cookbook)

*not pictured

Ingredients:

14 ounces baby carrots

4 banana shallots

Juice of 2 limes

4 sprigs of thyme

4 salmon fillets

(sea Salt and coarse black pepper)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the carrots in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Peel the shallots and slice them in half lengthwise, and add them to the pan along with the lime juice, thyme, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour.

While the carrots are roasting, season the fillets with a pinch of salt and pepper. After the carrots have cooked for an hour, remove the foil and place the fillets into the roasting pan. Return to the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.

All of the meals in this cookbook are simple, yet feel really special!

6 – Breads or Pizza (veggie and cheese)

Breads topped with preserves or butters or paired with baked or grilled veggies is also another favorite.

I’m definitely still working on my bread making skills but these are a couple simple, less time consuming recipes that we like (that have turned out ok enough to eat 🙂 ).

Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread

Julia Child’s White Sandwich Bread

And we love this thin crust pizza dough recipe.

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“Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps cultivate the style of the good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.” – Pope Francis

hair and skin. some “cleaner” basics i’ve been loving lately.

I love messy hair (held back with a kerchief) and a simple beauty routine. With my routine and products, I normally find something I like (or grow accustomed to) and stick to it. Pretty much followed the same routine for 15+ years, ugh. However, throughout the past few years, my search to find cleaner and safer products for myself and my family has encouraged me to find and use some products that not only “just work” but ones that I really love. Also, our first winter back in the midwest (after living in the south for six years), has prompted me to find a few new ones recently to help my skin deal with the colder, dryer temps. Here’s some of the basics that I’m loving right now . . .

Beautycounter Hydrating Foundation

I had used the same foundation for well over fifteen years (I like change but not always :)) when a little over two years ago a friend shared Beautycounter’s story on one of her Social Media pages. At the time, I had just began looking for cleaner, safer and healthier products for ourselves and our home. I have been using this foundation ever since and I love it. I’ve always had somewhat problem skin so I was nervous to make a change (especially with my foundation) but I really think I have benefited from the change. It’s lightweight and blends nicely. Not to mention, it feels great on the skin no matter the climate.

You can read Beautycounter’s story here.

Acure Facial Scrub

Acure Night Cream

I have also been using a variety of Acure products for the past couple of years as well. They have just recently changed their packaging and added some new products. I’m currently using these two and their eye cream. I’ve also used their day cream but this winter I just dab a little of the night cream on in the morning as well.

Ere Perez Face Nectar

Ere Perez Face Tonic

I have just began using these in the past month or so. I absolutely love the little extra punch of moisture they have given my skin during this dry winter. My skin is definitely combo skin that can be both oily and dry at the same time. These seem to take away some of that dryness while not making it more oily. Before I started using these, I used argan oil some with my nighttime routine.

Sailor Sea Salt Refresh Spray

I don’t really use any other hair products but this one. I use it to increase texture and make it workable on those days I want it to look at least one step above messy. 🙂 I’m definitely more of a “beach hair” type girl so this spray works great for me.

Quinn’s Witch Hazel – Rose Petal

The smell of this one reminds me of my great aunt. XO! But even more so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy or too tight like other toners I’ve used in the past. Not to mention the million other ways it useful.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap

Dr. Bronner’s soap varieties have been a staple in our home for several years now. It is a pure castile (olive oil based) soap and can be used for just about anything from washing your hair and face to cleaning your fruits and veggies (you would want the liquid variety for this). I’ve been particularly fond of the peppermint this winter!

Weleda Skin Food Cream

I love the texture and organic smell of this cream! I’m not always big on creams because I feel as if they are just too heavy and sit on top of the skin rather than nourish, but this one isn’t that way at all. I liked this one so much that I gifted it at Christmas to a few close friends including my mom.

Pacifica Face Wash

I’ve used a couple different types of their face wash and they both have left my face feeling good (not too tight and dry nor too oily). This particular one I’ve been using for about the past six months or so.

Young Living Essential Oils

We love essential oils. The Thieves and Lavender are the two that we use the most – either by themselves or combined with others. I also love this brand!

Happy Sunday! It’s a cold and snowy one here on this third day of March . . .