New Blog is Live!

I’ve had my finger hovering over the publish button for almost a week now! I don’t know why I’m so nervous about the release of my new blog. Probably my type-A tendencies. My inner perfectionist cringes because everything isn’t exactly the way I want it.

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There have been a lot of late nights googling things like “how to remove border around widget images,” and “unlink header and post title.” The first I figured out, the second I did not. But I do know how to delete plugins and start from scratch with new ones! I’m okay with the fact that things aren’t perfect, because it is a more accurate reflection of who I am. Thanks for joining me in saying goodbye to my old friend, Spinach and Skittles, and hello to my new adventure:

Leila Dishes!

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Please update your bloglovin, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and now facebook to add my new blog. I hope you enjoy the new look and format as much as I do!

Meal Plan Monday: September 16-22

Where did the weekend go? I spent mine working on my new blog! I’m switching to a self-hosted blog soon, and have spent a great deal of time learning enough html code to get into the CSS editor and switch some things up. It still isn’t perfect, so I’m not ready to reveal it yet. But I’m changing blog names, and am very excited about what is on the horizon!

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I also spent a good chunk of time painting the living room gray. Well, kind of. We started painting it last weekend, only to discover the paint color we chose didn’t look right after it covered 2 entire walls instead of one little chunk in the testing area. After borrowing a gray from another friend and testing a patch, we decided on the new color. Still needed is a second coat, painting the dining room a darker gray, and painting the baseboards and ceiling white. In less than two weeks.

Why in less than 2 weeks? Because little miss G will soon be 1! We’re having a birthday party and need the place to be presentable. Hopefully without all the furniture in the center of the room too!

photo(31)p.s. Thank God for Elmo! He kept G mildly entertained as we finished that last wall!

We also attended my nieces birthday party. I attempted to get a shot of the 3 little ladies. “Look at Aunt Leila,” didn’t work as well as we hoped.


Oh well!

This week is a busy one! Friday my co-teacher is taking an all day Masters class, so I’ll be teaching all day. With no prep. Save me! Meal planning helps though 🙂 Thanks for hosting again Racheal & Deneene.

Running with Racheal
* (F) indicates freezer meal (L) indicates leftovers

Monday: tomato basil ravioli with salad and homemade shallot honey mustard

Tuesday: chicken & dumplings w/salad & homemade shallot honey mustard

Wednesday: girls night out at Downriver Grill

Thursday: (F) tacos with the most delicious organic local beef from Wild Aspen Ranch

Friday: (L) chicken & dumplings w/salad & homemade shallot honey mustard

Saturday: sweet potato veggie burgers – this is a recipe I pinned forever ago. I really hope it’s tasty!

Sunday: wild card, hopefully something with lots of leftovers!

  • last weeks wildcard menu item was chili from the freezer, which I need to get around to posting. And on the side I made my favorite zucchini cornbread muffins. I HIGHLY recommend making these. So good!

Workouts will be 12 miles walking/jogging again. I didn’t meet my goal last week, but I’m already 6 miles in to this weeks goal 🙂

What is on your menu this week?

Meal Plan Monday: Sept 9-15

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? The hubs and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Friday with a very sick baby. Poor G was miserable all weekend long, but appears to be mostly back in good spirits now. Hopefully we’ll go out to dinner this coming weekend instead.

photo by Hannah Bergman

photo by Hannah Bergman

Today marks the first day of the first full week of school. Last week was all about establishing routines, procedures, and expectations. This week I’m adding in more academics, while still practicing what we’ve established. It is mentally exhausting! Hopefully we’ll get in our grove soon so I can start attacking my curriculum. I have a lot to pack in this year!

I’m happy to be participating in Racheal and Deneene’s meal plan link up again. Being organized at school is something I excel at. I’m trying to bring my structured work-self home a bit, and be better about meal planning. Thanks for helping me be accountable ladies!

Running with Racheal

* (L) indicates leftovers

** (F) indicates a freezer meal (read my method here)

Monday – black bean burgers with zucchini chips

Tuesday – (L) taco Tuesday with Sunday’s wild card menu item: pot roast tacos with horseradish sour cream. I added garlic, cilanto & lime juice to the horseradish sour cream and was quite pleased with the results.

Wednesday – (F) Mustard lime chicken with red wine pasta and zucchini

Thursday – (F) paleo mini meatloaves and quinoa with roasted zucchini and carrots

Friday – (L) pot roast burrito bowls over zucchini cilantro lime rice

Saturday – dinner out for our belated celebration

Sunday – wild card

Workouts will be walking, elliptical, and painting. I did not meet my 12 mile goal last week (only clocked 6), which I’m okay with. The first week was too tiring and overwhelming to stress about such things. I’m going to be more on top of things this week though!

Oh, and if you have a moment, pop by my friend Jill’s blog – The Pinspired Mama. She just started it, and it looks great! I’m going to add some of her recipes into next weeks meal plan for sure!

What should I make this weekend for my wild card menu item? Something in the crock pot would be awesome since we’ll be painting all day.

Zucchini breakfast cookies

Have you noticed a theme with my recipes lately? I’ll give you a hint.


Yep, it’s monster zucchinis taking over your garden season (it’s a thing, look it up). Aside from shredding and freezing 2 cup baggies, I’m also incorporating it into pretty much everything I eat. Zucchini has such a mild flavor. It’s like a wonder veggie. Unicorns must be responsible for their existence.

One thing I knew I needed to add zucchini to? Breakfast cookies. I pretty much used my banana breakfast cookie recipe, but used old fashioned oats instead of instant (because they can handle the extra moisture better). I wasn’t sure if I’d need extra oats, but it turns out I was golden because of the oat type used. If you only have instant oats I’d up the amount by a half cup.

zucchini breakfast cookies


1.5 cups zucchini, shredded

5 bananas, mashed

2.5 cups old fashioned oats

1 TBS cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 TBS chia seeds (optional)

2 TBS ground flax (optional)

1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash bananas and add all other ingredients. Scoop by 1/3 measuring cup on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake 18 minutes. Cool before eating.

To freeze


Place baked cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag. To heat, microwave 45 seconds.

Do you have a breakfast cookie recipe I must try?

Mexican stuffed bell peppers

The other night I noticed I still had 4 bell peppers leftover from my freezer meal stock up. They were starting to get a tad soft, and I knew they needed to be used within a few days. Soft peppers? No thanks.

I sifted through pinterest and a few of my favorite blogs, but couldn’t find a recipe that suited my mood. So I whipped up a recipe of my own, and it was declared a keeper by the hubs. I cooked 4, froze 4, and had filling leftover that I mixed with black beans for tacos later in the week. Three meals in one afternoon, I’ll take it.

mexican stuffed bell peppers


1 pound ground beef

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 TBS chili powder

1 TBS cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1 TBS tomato paste

3/4 cup salsa of your choice (I used Kirkland Organic)

1 cup shredded cheese

5 bell peppers, cut lengthwise and seeds removed


Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a large saute´pan heat olive oil, onions, and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Add ground beef, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook until ground beef is browned. Drain fat.


Remove from heat & add zucchini, corn, cilantro, salsa, and cheese. Mix well. Spoon evenly (approximately 1/3 cup) into bell peppers.


Top with more cheese, if desired. If you don’t desire more cheese I am a tad worried about you.


Bake 20 minutes.

Serve with zucchini cilantro lime rice.

To freeze


Stuff pepper halves with ground beef mixture and flash freeze on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes. Transfer to freezer bag. Remove from freezer the night before serving and thaw in fridge. Top with additional cheese (if desired), and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Do you have a tried and true stuffed pepper recipe?

Zucchini cilantro lime rice

Is zucchini taking over your garden too? I’m throwing it in everything lately. Breakfast cookies? Boom, veggified. Stuffed peppers? Extra veggified. And now, rice. The other night the hubs cooked up some rice for me, and I only realized after it was cooked that we needed to eat leftovers instead. So I had a cup of rice sitting in the fridge looking for a recipe. I meant to throw it into my stuffed peppers, but spaced it. Only after they were cooking did I realize I still had a cup of rice that needed to be used. Since my stuffed peppers were chock full of Mexican spices I decided cilantro lime rice was in order. With zucchini of course. Boom, veggified.

zucchini cilantro lime rice


1 cup cooked rice (or boil 1/2 cup dry rice for 20 minutes & fluff w/fork)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 2 limes (or 1/4 cup lime juice)

1/4 tsp salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped very fine

1 cup zucchini, shredded


In a large bowl mix olive oil, lime juice, salt, garlic, and cilantro until oil is blended well.


Add rice and zucchini. Mix thoroughly.


Serve with your favorite Mexican dish.

What’s your favorite dish to throw zucchini into?

Meal Plan Monday: Sept. 2-8

It’s that time of year again. The flutter of loose leaf paper and smell of sharpened, (ok, mostly broken), pencils fills the air. The first week of school is the most important of the entire year, and I need to be on my A game.

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G has decided one wake up a night isn’t enough, and instead is waking regularly at 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30.* And not only does she wake up, she wants to nurse for 30 minutes, or more, at a time! This girl is normally a 3-5 minute nurser. This round the night nursing has led to an insatiable hunger, much like the one I experienced when she was a newborn. A combination of the lack of sleep + revved up supply I suppose. As a result I’m making protein packed breakfasts, like my chicken sausage breakfast burritos, to get me through the morning, and being diligent about meal planning. I’m also trying to be more creative with my leftovers, which I’ll explain below.

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*sidenote, I’m now a zombie. And sock buns are the only way Iook professional these days.

Thanks for creating this link up Racheal! It inspired me to get back into my meal plan groove 🙂

Running with Racheal

Meal Plan

*(L) indicates leftover

Monday: burgers with local organic beef from Wild Aspen Ranch, zucchini sauted with garlic & parm, kale chips & watermelon.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday w/(L) Mexican stuffed bell pepper filling (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week) mixed with black beans. I’m looking for a good corn salad to go with – ideas?

Wednesday: (L)  Scooters Spaghetti – this is from my last freezer meal stock up. I highly recommend it! Served with a salad, or more sauted zucchini, depending on how our garden is looking.

Thursday: (L) Mexican stuffed bell peppers with zucchini cilantro lime rice (recipe tested and approved for the blog – will be up this week).

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Friday: Pesto ranch chicken thighs (from my freezer meal stock up) over quinoa, and a salad.

Saturday: Going out for our anniversary (which is really on Friday, but I’ll be in bed by 5 for sure!). I’m thinking Clover, Central Food, Casper Fry, or Sante´. I can’t decide.

Sunday: wild card. Something that will provide leftovers. It can be a little more time involved. I have chicken, fish, and ground beef. Suggestions?

Lunches throughout the week will be roast beef sandwiches + fruit/veggies or a black bean dish made with the leftover zucchini cilantro lime rice, feta, tomatoes & corn.


I plan to walk/run 3 miles, 4 times a week. Let’s see if the first week of school has other plans for me.

What’s on your menu this week? Doing anything different with your leftovers?