Monday Mantra: Climb

Happy Monday to you.  I hope you are gearing up to fill your hearts with love and your bellies with food this week! (hard to believe its already Thanksgiving!!)  Although we have been faced with plenty of challenges so far this year, we also have so many wonderful reasons to be thankful.  As life gets stressful and busy its so easy to let the challenges take a front row and the blessings straggle behind.  Here at HSE lately we’ve been a bit absent with our posts and we have NOT been good about keeping up with our wonderful readers.
Well….there’s a reason…
we’ve got a mini HSE-er heading our way soon!!  We couldn’t be more excited about our little bundle of joy and we are so thankful that we have the most wonderful support system around us to help us as we enter into this new chapter of our lives.  We are definitely counting our blessings around the Turkey-day table this year.

“You can’t fall if you don’t climb,
But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground”

baby climbing


Lots of Love
~ Jillian & the sprout

Yumm-O: Chicken & Rice Soup

It’s soup season.  I can’t help myself.  Something about the chill in the air and the smell of fall makes me crave warm and yummy soup!!  It’s a great filling meal that is healthy and totally satisfying!  And it meets my MOST important requirement which is easy to make!!  We are no strangers here at HSE to soup recipes…Check out Spicy Chicken Chili, Roasted Red Pepper & Corn Soup, Smokey Southwestern Soup, Cheesy Cauliflower Soup, and Monroe’s Semi-Sissy Chili.  Today’s soup recipe was inspired from a pre-made organic soup i picked up at the grocery store the other day.  It was so yummy and it just hit the spot!!  I knew i needed to figure out how to make my own version so we could have it all the time!!

Chicken & Rice Soup

chicken and rice soup

(image source)

Chicken & Rice Soup


  • 2 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (or your favorite type of rice)
  • chicken or veggie broth
  • water
  • butter
  • paprika
  • garlic
  • cardamon
  • dehydrated red onion (can use fresh red or white onion if you’ve got them!)
  • kale
  • corn
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Prepare the chicken and shred.
    • For me the easiest way to cook chicken for shredding is in the crockpot.  For this recipe I used 8 oz of organic chicken broth, garlic powder, dehydrated red onion, paprika & a dash of cardamon.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2 hours.  Chicken can easily shed with a fork!!
  • In a large stock pot, prepare rice.  Follow directions on the packaging but add a little more liquid then you normally would and include about a tbsp of butter.
  • Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in corn and kale.  Also add carrots or any other veggies you have on hand.  I usually use frozen because its what i have on hand!!
  • Add shredded chicken and another 8 oz container of chicken broth.Stir and simmer
  • Continue to add water or additional broth until it is to your desired consistency.
  • Continue to simmer and stir in 1 tbsp of butter.
  • Taste often!!  Add additional seasoning (garlic, paprika & cardamon) and salt & pepper to taste.  There is so much flavor already in the chicken and broth that it really does not need to simmer for long!  Use your taste buds to decide but last time i made this I simmered for about 15-20 minutes!
  • Great on its own…or add greek yogurt, shredded cheese and crackers.

Yummo!!  The leftovers are also fantastic.  Do be advised that the rice does soak up a lot of the liquid so when you go in for round two, either add some additional broth or even eat it as more of a rice casserole!

~ Jillian


Yumm-O: Semi-Sissy Chili

It’s November.  Let me say that one more time…just in case you weren’t listening.  IT’S NOVEMBER!!!  How in the world did that happen so quickly?  The temperature is starting to drop here in Georgia (slowly but surely) and with that comes an absolute need to have warm, yummy comfort foods!  Foods that fill you up and make you feel nice and warm inside!!  This is a family classic that has made the rounds!!  Its hearty and delicious but easy to make and not too heavy on the waist line!  Not quite sure where the name came from…but its awesome and makes it taste even better…just cuz!!  Please enjoy…

Monroe’s Semi-Sissy Chili


Monroe’s Semi-Sissy Chili


  • 2 lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (or 2 if you are a bean lover!)
  • 1 large onion (or dehydrated red onion is lovely too!!)
  • 2 large garlic pads (or handful of garlic powder)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder (or 4 red chili peppers)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed camino seeds (can omit if you can’t find them!)
  • 1 tsp cayan pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp dry salt (this is our favorite brand of super good for you celtic salt)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (we LOVE apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • 1 dash worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp masaharina flour
  • 15oz tomato sauce


  • Cook ground turkey in a LARGE pot (this is a one pot wonder kids!!)
  • Once turkey is fully cooked, make a hole in the center of the pot and melt butter
  • Add onion and garlic to brown in butter and then stir in with meat
  • Add enough water to stop the meat from burning or sticking to the bottom
  • Add chili powder, oregano, camino, cayenne, mustard, salt, vinegar, tabasco & worcestershire
  • Boil & then reduce to simmer for a few minutes
  • Add masaharina & paprika
  • Cook 30 minutes; taste often!! (Add Cayenne, Mustard & Chili for heat; Honey, vinegar & masaharina if too much heat)
  • Add Tomato Sauce and cook an additional 15 minutes
  • Great additions: Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese and cilantro

Easy to make, yummy and filling!  Double or triple the recipe for lots of leftovers (freezes great too!) and ENJOY!

~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: perfect

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed some lovely weather…here in Georgia it was BEAutiful!!  We had a weekend of ups and downs…changed plans and wrenches in our original list of things to do.  BUT in the end it turned out to be lovely just the same.  Just goes to show that when life throws you a curve ball, rolling with it can lead you to an even better outcome.  Here’s hoping you can take that with you thru this week, and remember that even if things aren’t as you have planned, there is still always room to find the good.  Find the Joy in the every day and you will discover why you are moving down the path you are on.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”


Choose Joy
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: Love

Good Morning!  I hope you had a lovely weekend.  We spent some of our time catching up with great friends (who also happen to be neighbors…lucky us!)  What I love about getting together with friends is learning about the things in life that make us different!  From our backgrounds and family history to beliefs and spiritual practices.  It is so interesting to find out more about the people you love spending time with!!  What I realized this weekend is that no matter where you come from or what religion you are or what your main focus in life is, there seems to be one common thread that pulls us all together…LOVE!!  And as long as we do all things with that intention behind us, life will be good!!

“Love is the common thread”


Do all things with Love
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: gratitude

Life has been so busy lately it has been hard to keep up! (i’m sure i am not the only one that feels that way!!)  It feels like Monday’s are coming around faster then ever!  But in the busiest times of life it seems even more important to pause and be thankful for the blessings in our lives.  With a busy life undoubtably comes rushing around and not feeling like you have the time to stop and breath.  The feeling of never quite being caught up with your to do list.

So this week we should pause, as often as possible to take a nice deep breath and count the blessings in our lives.  Take stock of all the wonderful things that make it possible for you to keep on trucking!  As we head into the busiest time of the year (can anyone else believe that thanksgiving is right around the corner??) which makes it even more important to stop and smell the roses!!

“gratitude changes everything”


Happy Monday
~ Jillian

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Olive Oil, Garlic and Red Chili Pepper

Now that we are officially in the fall season, I thought I’d share a quick and healthy recipe using spaghetti squash.  Although it can now be found in grocery stores year-round, spaghetti squash is typically harvested in early fall.   Spaghetti squash is a nutrient packed, providing a good source of folic acid, fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and beta carotene.  Spaghetti squash is also low in carbohydrates and calories, with only 7 grams of carbs and 42 calories in a 1-cup serving.


Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Olive Oil, Garlic & Red Chili Pepper

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 1 hr, 10 min.

1 medium-sized (approx 3 lb) spaghetti squash
1/4 cup good quality (plus a little extra for baking squash), first press olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (adjust if you do not like it too spicy)
1/2 pound (medium or large) peeled raw shrimp (tails removed), optional
1 cup broccoli florets
Salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (grated), optional

Wash and cut your spaghetti squash in half, length-wise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Brush the squash generously with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Place squash in a baking dish with the cut side facing down.  Place in a 375-degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until done.  To test, pierce the exterior with a fork – if it easily punctures the skin, it is done.

Once the squash is done, remove from oven and allow to cool while you start prepping the rest of your ingredients.

Begin cooking the broccoli florets.  I prefer to roast the broccoli in the oven, but steamed broccoli is fine too.

While the broccoli is cooking, saute the shrimp with a little olive oil or butter.  Set aside.

Once cooled, you will need to remove the squash from its shell.  Simply rake a fork across the inside of the squash to remove the flesh in stringy pieces, resembling spaghetti noodles.

Add the olive oil to the heated pan used for the shrimp.  Heat the oil over medium heat, adding the garlic and red pepper flakes once the oil is hot.  Stir constantly for just a couple of minutes.  You do not want to brown or burn the garlic.  Remove the pan from heat.  To the olive oil mixture, add the spaghetti squash strands, broccoli and shrimp, and toss to coat.  Salt and pepper, to taste.

For an added punch of flavor, add fresh grated parmesan once plated.

This is a great one to keep in your weeknight arsenal of recipes.  You can easily cook the squash ahead of time and have dinner ready with only 20 minutes of hands-on time.   Simply reheat the pasta with a little water in a covered saute pan or in the microwave prior to tossing with the olive oil mixture.

If you do not like spicy, consider substituting pesto or marinara for the garlic and red pepper mixture.  The spaghetti squash is as versatile as regular pasta – be creative!


Monday Mantra: Opportunity

Happy Monday to ya!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend doing WHATEVER you wanted to!!  We spent time working on house things…catching up with friends and relaxing!!  I am so excited that fall is in the air.  It’s such a wonderful time of year with beautiful weather, yummy flavors and LOTs of beautiful things around us.  Stay tuned to HSE this fall for lots of Fall inspiration!

“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”


Happy Monday – ENJOY your day!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: habit

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend and are refreshed for the week ahead!  I must admit that I had a little bummer of a weekend and spent it…sick…on my couch.  Feeling better and slowly but surely getting back into full steam!!  This was definitely my body’s way of telling me I need to slow down and take some time to myself.  I did that and then some this weekend…although i must admit its way more fun having me time when you are feeling good then when you are sicky!!  So here’s hoping things continue on the path the 100% this week and life can get back to a bit more normal (Dear Body: i promise to slow down and take better care so we don’t have to go thru this again any time soon!!)  Have a wonderful week and take care!

“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act but a habit”


Happy Monday
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: give

Good Morning!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  We snuck off last week for a much needed vacation and enjoyed a little R & R at the beautiful beach in Sandestin!!  Such a wonderful trip; made lots of great memories, caught up on rest and soaked in as much sunshine as we possibly could!!  Now its back to the grind and getting settled back into life!

“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a LIFE by what we give”

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Happy Monday!
~ Jillian