recipe: rice, black bean and avocado bowl with sweet chili mustard sauce via the vegan 8

As I opened Blogger to type up this recipe I saw the date of my last post: 2016. Oops? Yikes? I'm not sure what to say here other than I took a short break which turned into a longer break and now, here I am so many months later. So, hello again!

I've been thinking about getting back to blogging. Much has changed since I last made an appearance on this page. That will be a longer post for another day as I decide on future content and how I want this blog to look. For today, I'm sharing a new favorite recipe and my modifications. It's a super flavorful, nutrient rich dish that will now be in our regualr rotation.

My mom sent me this original recipe via The Vegan 8's Instagram page.

A post shared by Brandi Doming (@thevegan8) on

{Vegan? Well, yeah, remember those changes I mentioned? That's the first. More on the whys later.)

I had all but one ingredient on hand so had to give it a try. I'm positive that the original recipe is wonderful but I changed up a few things to adjust for our toddler's palate and to get in more veggies. The following is my own twist and WOW, it is good!

Rice, Black Bean and Avocado Bowl with Sweet Chili Mustard Sauce

    For the rice
  • 1 1/2 cups medium-grain or long-grain brown rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups water
      For the sweet potatoes
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 cubes
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    For the beans
  • 1 15 oz cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed well
  • 2 teaspoons regular chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (my beans were low-sodium, so adjust if necessary)
  • For the Sweet Chili Mustard Sauce (makes 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup regular yellow wet mustard (120 g)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (60 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons regular chili powder (use 1 1/2 T for less heat)
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • Garnish
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (optional)

  1. Prepare the rice and sweet potatoes first. Preheat oven to 375. Bring vegetable stock to a boil and pour over rice, oil and salt in and oven safe casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 1 hour. Add sweet potatoes to a baking pan, lightly toss with oil and salt and bake uncovered in oven, along with rice, for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Uncover rice and fluff with a fork.
  2. When the rice and sweet potatoes are almost done cooking, prepare the beans by combining the "beans" ingredients and heat either over the stove or microwave.
  3. Prepare the sauce by combining the "sauce" ingredients into a small bowl and whisk really well until smooth. It will thicken better using a whisk. Add as much water to desired taste/consistency. This is a strong sauce so that it really stands out in the dish. The more water you add, the more diluted the flavor. I added 3 tablespoons of water to mine.
  4. Chop your avocado and tomatoes (if using). Assemble either in a large serving bowl or individual bowls by layering rice, beans, sweet potaotes, avocado, tomatoes or any other choices. Drizzle lots of sweet chili mustard sauce on top and toss everything together to coat the mixture well. Serve immediately. The sauce will thicken some overnight. You can "freshen" it back up by adding some water/broth and gently reheating it.


new school year, newly organized: parent school binder

Last year was our first with two children in school. Our oldest son went off to Kindergarten, while our middle child started his first preschool year. Thankfully, their school calendars matched up as far as holidays and no school days. Still, there was a lot to manage with different teachers, lunches, school programs, homework, incoming papers and well, you get the idea!

I knew I needed some sort of system for important papers. I added a handful of page protectors to a letter size binder, slipped in the district calendar and pertinent papers and called it done. Did it work? Not really.  It just wasn't organized in a way that made sense but, I didn't put much thought into it beyond that.

Last month, I came across this video by AtHomeWithNikki where she shared a complete binder system, sectioned off for each child. It all made so much sense! I hit my own stash for some of the supplies and Staples for the rest. The genius in this system is that it is a one shot project. All that needs to be changed out yearly is the school and monthly calendar section. Everything else is reused year after year. I love that!

While I have yet to assemble my own (we still have three weeks of summer break to go), I thought I would share the video here along with a photo/written supply list to help other families who are searching for a better system. I spent far too long in the office supply store pulling together bits and pieces as, the only thing missing from the video was a comprehensive list. This should eliminate that hiccup for you!

Parent School Binder Supply List:

8.5x11" binder (video uses a Martha Stewart for Staples, aqua striped design)
Clear binder pockets (Staples): 4 per child + 2 extra
Tabbed dividers
Zip-It binder pockets (Studio C at Staples): 1 per child + 1 extra
Snap tab 2 pocket folder (Studio C at Staples): 1 per child
Monthly Calendar (I printed my freebies HERE)

3 hole punched sprial notebook (my addition for note taking)
Label maker

I have enough supplies on hand to create sections for all three of our children, even though our youngest will not start preschool until 2017. During the coming year, I'll use her portion for the Mommy & Me schedule and any activities, such as swim classes.

I'm looking forward to using this system and will share photos (or, maybe a video?) once the project is complete. I hope that this has been helpful!

Cheers to a new school year!


all my love :: new issue monday

Today I am sharing a page with a brand new paper line and playing along with a brand new Issue at Paper Issues. "Let's Go For the Gold" creative Issue is live right now HERE

Here are some suggestions for playing along with us:
travel, cruises, day trips; use a world globe, stop sign or stop light as an embellishment; Olympics; use gold, silver or bronze; achievements, medals, accomplishments

I chose to use the gold suggestion. I had just received the new Fancy Pants Designs Millie and June line with all of the shiny gold accents and embellishments so, it was a perfect fit. This photos was a selfie I took with all three of my littles this past Mother's Day. Somehow, the stars aligned and everyone looked AND smiled at once!


bring on summer! new issue monday...

Happy June! Today, I'm participating in Paper Issues New Issue Monday "Let's Get Knot-ical." Every month we challenge friends and fans to join in the fun and post an interpretation of the theme for a chance to win a gift card to the Paper Issues shop!

Here are some ideas for this month: anything you can do on the water (water skiing, boating, tubing, cruises, whale watch, etc.); use a compass, ship’s wheel, sailboat or ocean creatures as embellishments; add knots to your project, whether you use ribbon, twine or other fibers; beach vacations; Father’s Day.

I documented some photos from last June of my husband and oldest son having a water soaker battle in our backyard. While I had plenty of nautical paper lines on hand, I decided to veer off and use Cocoa Vanilla's Totally Rad collection

Need some supplies to jump start you take on this challenge? Use code JENBOOM to take 20% off any order from the Paper Issues shop.


project, life: may 2016

I'm still chugging along this year with Project Life and am so much happier (i.e. less stressed) using a monthly format! My method is to simply print twelve 3x4" photos to fill a two page spread. If they happen to all be from a single week, great. If not, no worries at all. With this set-up, a month can have only two pages (it's okay, really!) or many, many more.

These are all photos from the last week in May. The beauty here is that, it was a full week and I have far more than 12 photos I want to use. Instead of my old method of either a) weeding out or, b) creating an insert page, now I will simply use the carry over pics on the next spread.

I'm looking to use more ephemera again. The strict weekly format has me leaving a lot of things like tags, receipts and screen shots behind. There simply was not enough space! Now, space is all relative. So, here I have a screen shot of a television show my husband and I have been binge watching on Netflix, as well as a piece cut from a kiwi package.

Need some supplies for your own documenting? Use code JENBOOM in the Paper Issues shop for 20% off any order!


into the woods :: new issue!

Today, I'm sharing a pocket page for Paper Issues monthly Issue Challenge: Into the Woods. You'll find our monthly issue in our {Friends & Fans} Facebook group. April's challenge album is right here. Please post your Issue related projects in the Current Issue album. The deadline for adding your projects to the challenge album is May 1st for a chance to win a gift certificate to the Paper Issues store.

So what is Into the Woods all about? Here are a few ideas to get you started (use one or use them all). Feel free to use any product you'd like.
  • Use wood veneer embellishments, wood grain papers or wood grain stamps.
  • Share paper projects about camping, glamping and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Use woodland animal embellishments or photos.

While there are many ways to interpret this theme, I chose to use photo from last month of our children in the woods! We have a tow path running directly behind our neighborhood which makes for some fun nature exploration. I loved the snaps I grabbed during two of our walks and wanted to highlight them in  a full page in my Project Life album.

My supplies include cards from the Project Life Everyday core kit, We R Memory Keepers Crush 6x6 paper pad, a teepee PI Paper POP, a Maggie Holmes puffy deer sticker, and some goodies from swag bags.


so happy :: new issue monday!

Happy Monday! This month bring a brand new Issue challenge over at Paper Issues. This month's theme is Em-brace World Peeps. There are so many ways to play! Simply create a project - layout, pocket page, card, altered art, etc - and share with us in the Paper Issues {Friends & Fans} Facebook group. Upload your project photo(s) to the group challenge album by April 6th to be in the running for this month's gift certificate prize!

Here are your suggested themes: Easter, travel, loved ones, hugs, braces, friendship, spring, use the PI March free printable, use the free globe cut file

I decided to work with the hug suggestion. I've been holding on to this sweet photo of our two youngest children, embracing in our back yard, and the timing was right to get it documented! I used the Fancy Pants Happy Place line - the patterned papers, ephemera pack and enamel shapes to create this page.

You can still find some of the Happy Place products and so many other supplies in the Paper Issues shop. And, take 20% off your full order with code: JENBOOM
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