Great Guac

guacamoleOur eldest son came home over lunch today, just as I was finishing making guac. I asked if he wanted any. “Uhhh. I’ll have a taste.” Which became another, and another, and … until he’d eaten about half the bowl. “It’s better than usual.” I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or a cut… or neither, since I’m usually not the one who has made it when he eats it.

Regardless, it was great. Our guac really is always pretty much the same, but has slight variations depending on what we have on hand. Here’s today’s version.

Great Guac

Blend all till well mixed. If you prefer chunkier guac, mince the veggies, dice the avocado and mix and mash together.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator, (in a Mason Jar,) 🙂  with the pit of the avocado in the guac. That helps keep it from turning brown. (The lemon juice in it does too.)


  • Sometimes we use a whole roma tomato, but aren’t huge fans of a lot of tomato in our guac.
  • If we don’t have jalapeño, we leave it out.
  • Sometimes we use lime juice, instead of lemon, if we have fresh limes on hand. And leave out the Lime EO.
  • If I have fresh cilantro, I use about 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves. Sometimes we leave it out completely. A “toothpick” of essential oil means put a toothpick into the oil in the bottle and stir that into the dish you’re making–for times when you need less than a drop.

Do you love guac?




Stir-fried Veggies & Brown Rice

My Instant Pot likes to play leading role in the kitchen these days. Last night it had to play second fiddle to the wok. Stir-fried Veggies & Brown Rice. ‪#‎simplywhole‬ ‪#‎freelyeat‬ ‪#‎instantpot‬

stir fried veggiesbrown rice ipot


Brown Rice instructions here.

Stir-fried Veggies:

  • Cut up lots of veggies (for long veggies, on the diagonal)–Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms, …
  • Stir-fry them

We like to add a sauce of:

What was in your Instant Pot last night?



Savory Mushroom Gravy {Recipe}

Savory Mushroom Gravy has become a family fave (except for 1 son who hates mushrooms). We love it over rice or potatoes. Although I don’t make the gravy in the Instant Pot, I do make its underpinnings there. This no-fat gravy is rich, hearty and flavorful. (You meat eaters will never miss the beef.)

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Dry or water Saute:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  • 3 cups veggie stock/broth (or water with 2 veggie bouillon cubes, stir to dissolve and disperse).


  • 3/4-1# mushrooms, chopped (crimini)
  • 2 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • black pepper

Simmer until mushrooms start to soften.

Mix (I shake in a small mason jar):

  • 6 Tbl. fresh ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water

Whisk in. Simmer till thickened.

Serve over Brown Rice or baked or mashed Potatoes.

I cook both Brown Rice and Potatoes in my Instant Pot. The Brown Rice link will take to instructions.

red potatoes brocolli iPot

For Potatoes:

  • approx. 3# medium red potatoes

Place 1 cup water in Instant Pot pan. Place potatoes on trivet set in pan. Put lid on. Seal. Hit Manual and 10 minutes. Quick Release is fine, or let it sit on Keep Warm until you’re ready to serve dinner.

To add the frozen Broccoli, I stopped the Instant Pot with 2 minutes left. Added the frozen Broccoli in a stainless steel pot that fits. Restart Instant Pot for 2 minutes. Quick Release. (If using fresh broccoli, you may need 0 minutes.)

Add a fresh greens and veggies salad and enjoy this hearty, potatoes and gravy dinner. Try it and let me know what you think.





On the Road Again {Green Smoothie Mason Jars!}

Not on the road this week, but I’ve been on the road a lot this past year. Business building, parents’ hospitalizations, family trips. Traveling is fun (most of the time), but not always the best for healthy eating. In addition, the added stress of traveling (even when it is fun, but especially when it’s for concerns of loved ones,) means we need to be extra vigilant in nourishing our bodies well.

green smoothie to goAs always, Green Smoothies are my go-to! They are a quick, easy, healthy, nutrient packed meal or snack that can be made in a minute when you’re on the go. However, bags of several frozen fruits (that won’t stay frozen) or even many bags of a variety of fresh fruits are difficult on a trip. (I take plenty to snack on, but adding a lot more for daily green smoothies gets to be too much.) I also want to take a little time as possible prepping food while I am traveling. Pre-prepping works out better. Grab and go is the way to roll on the road–OK, maybe at home too!

nutribulletproSo first thing I did was get a good travel-friendly but powerful blender to take on the road. My family doesn’t like being without the BlendTec at home while I’m gone. My research led me to get the NutriBullet Pro 900 for travel. Powerful and large blending jar (yeah I only use the BIG one), but sleek design and size–and its handy travel bag ^^–make it a great travel partner.

Next, on to the smoothies themselves. I’ve been a Mason Jar Junkie since way before it was cool to be one. I love Mason Jars of all shapes, sizes, and even colors! I  that I can use them for my Smoothies–for more than just drinking them. Gather those jars!

freezer smoothie jarHere’s the trick. I freeze my smoothie ingredients in single servingjars. All the ingredients for each smoothie together in a jar. Well mostly. Because even quart size jars are not large enough to hold all the greens I put in, along with the other ingredients, I take my greens separately, not frozen, usually in the large box or bag they come in. Each day’s other ingredients (besides liquid) are put into mason jars, 1 per smoothie, then put in the freezer. I use the 24 oz. (or 16 oz.) wide mouth jars. (I tend to make really large smoothies, so usually the 24 oz.) As long as the fruits start to thaw just a bit, I can drop the ingredients right out of the jar and into my blender with my greens and add water.

Ideally, I have a freezer to transfer the jars to when I arrive at my destination. (At my mom’s or a hotel I usually do.) But I have had times I’ve had to just keep my cooler well iced. It’s OK if they start to thaw, but you don’t want them completely thawed for long. Many times I move one from the freezer to the fridge before bed, so it’ll start thawing a bit by morning.

smoothie bullet
I just add my greens to the blender jar, the contents of one Smoothie Mason Jar, and some bottled purified water. Blend it up and I’m on my way. Easy-Peasy!

green smoothie thickOf course, I don’t drink out of the plastic blender jar. I have to have the really cool mason jar (that 24 oz one would work) or a glass or stainless steel bottle to drink it out of and a glass or silicone smoothie straw. (Those links are a couple faves. I don’t have this bottle –yet! Yeah, I collect water bottles too. And my favorite glass straws are from Strawsome.) ‘Cuz that’s the way I like it, so that’s the way I roll.

Hope you like it too, and this will help you roll more Smooth-lie.

See this post if you are lost about What exactly are Green Smoothies or Why on earth would I want to drink them or How do I make them?

Do you make your daily Green Smoothies when you travel? How’s it work for you? Comment below.