Vegetarian Chili- canned organic beans, tomatoes and fantastic foods dry chili mix and 1 cup tvp ( textured vegetable protein) I have made this many times and my family loves it.http://www.fantasticfoods.com/cooking.aspx
32 Bean Soup– Fantastic foods makes a dry 32 bean soup mix and its really good seasoned with garlic and herbs and adding diced vegetables into it. Butternut squash works well with it and so does adding some more dry lentils..
If there is one thing I wish I had when my son was born is a book on how to be a good mother, learning as I go I wanted to share some tips I have learned to keep my sanity, hope they help, its quite a learning experience being a mom. =)
1. Prepare coffee the night before: their is no better satisfaction after whatever life brings you with a child then having fresh hot coffee when they wake you up at 6 am. So have your percolator, machine or French press ready because the moment you wake up, its go-juice time. Same goes for tea or Yerba mate if you roll that way, get it ready. And if you have a machine on a timer that makes it ready for you in the am, I envy you.
2. Your shower is your sanctuary: The moment that curtain closes, you better start meditating because is the quietest moments of your day.( that is if you get to shower alone.) Put the shower fan on and your at a spa far away at the beach in another country, drowning out the sounds of your home. Don’t let the mommy anxiety get to you, we all know that dad and child could potentially burn the house down and make a colossal mess for you to clean whilst your meditating in the shower, but most Likely they are not and all is well and you are fine to relax, so do it.
3. Do your dishes: Ain’t nothing like waking up to a clean kitchen, if all you do is take your garbage out and do your dishes before bed every night, you will thank me. And it will feel better each time you wake up and have to start cooking while your half asleep waiting for coffee to brew, because your kitchen is clean.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan,: the more you prepare the better you’ll be. Preparing a outing bag for a child really helps even after they graduate from diapers, my son takes at least 1 toy and book everywhere to stay entertained. Planning food is essential with children, plan they will snack, so buy snacks for the month. Planning your meals and dividing bulk packages of meat is essential for feeding a growing child and a great way not to go crazy. Being a mom is 80% planning and 20 % having fun while doing it.
5. Save for the future: Save $ by cutting coupons, find store coupons and manufacture coupons and save even more. Shop seasonal sales and even subscribe to sale emails online, you can save a lot of money. Shop the discounted day old section at stores and bakeries and more importantly you can save $ by buying bulk and buying ingredients not food. Save all your recyclables, egg cartons, milk jugs and toilet paper rolls all come in handy when you have a child.
6.Get creative: You cannot be a great mom without using a whole lot of creativity and imagination. How to convince a 4 yr old to clean his room? Get creative. How to occupy him while you have guests over? Get creative. Got a whole lot of veggies to cook? Get creative. Rainy day everyone’s sick and nothing to do? Get creative. Activity books and kids game books really help to get things started.
7.Have a dream desk: the biggest thing us mothers tend to do is get lost in our families and always self sacrificing for our families happiness, security or comfort. A dream desk is where you shelter your individuality, for me its my art desk, for others I could just be a nook in the house, where your inner creative child to be safe and grow to be a stronger woman. Without the “safe” place we cannot grow and be stronger for our families and be a better MoM. Nurture your self, keep your individuality safe and be confident in asserting your amazing uniqueness. Your dream desk should help to give you that confidence.
8.Know your role: I don’t mean to sound so old school But as a mother we should have responsibilities to our family and shouldn’t break them to try and be more ourselves. Their is a fine line between being a confident role model mother and being a confident single childless woman. We need to have respect for ourselves. For people to respect us, we need to respect ourselves. Dancing all night in clubs is given up when your a mother, you have a ‘role’ and you should want respect, you made another human and are raising it to be a respectful one, right?! Respect thyself, so know your role.
9.Never stop dancing: I know what I said in the last one. Dancing in clubs is unacceptable, But blasting music all day for 5 years and dancing with your toddler around the house before they go to school is perfectly fine, in fact its encouraged. Don’t smother your own happiness, dance with your children.
10.Keep your romance alive: Last but not least, love your man. If you have one. They gave your children and do what you can to keep things brewing in between diaper changes. I know its hard But seeing a happy mommy and daddy is better then the opposite.
Oh and prepare to get dirty, your in for one messy bumpy ride.. have fun.