Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet

Hey guys! I know that usually I post plant-based or vegetarian recipes, although I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I just love my veggies- and honestly never really learned how to cook meat! I do eat meat almost every day though, and have recently started branching out into cooking more animal proteins. So far I’m just cooking pretty easy stuff, like shrimp, and today I’m sharing the recipe for this Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet. If you do prefer to omit meat from your diet, you can always substitute the meat in any of my recipes with plant based alternatives (like tofu or plant-based sausage in this case), or just omit them altogether. It should still be delicious! I’ll always have plenty of plant-based recipes on my site and will continue to post new ones as well, I just wanted to give you the heads up that I might be cooking more meat in the future:)

Lately I’ve been into really quick, simple, and delicious recipes, and this Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet hits ALL of those points. We’ve got three simple steps- chop, cook, and EAT. First you’re gonna chop up all of your amazing veggies- sweet potato, broccoli, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, as well as your sausage. I was thinking about the kind of carb I wanted to include in this meal, originally wanting to make it into a kind of stir fry with quinoa or brown rice. But I didn’t feel like getting out an extra pot and waiting for any grains to cook. And also I really love sweet potatoes. So I thought, WHY DON’T I ADD THE SWEET POTATO RIGHT INTO THE SKILLET? I usually don’t cook sweet potatoes in the pan, but I diced them up really small so they cooked quickly, and it turned out SO GOOD.

I love all of the other veggies in here too- there’s such a nice rainbow going on! The sweet potatoes and the broccoli go into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil first since they take the longest to cook. After a few minutes, the rest of the skillet ingredients go into the pan until the sliced sausage is nice and browned on both sides. Lastly, the some spinach, garlic powder, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper, and a splash of water go in to finish everything off. Yum!

The kind of sausage that I used was a chicken, spinach and feta sausage from Costco. They’re really good and have pretty clean ingredients. Costco just rocks! When picking out a chicken sausage, look for one with simple ingredients and that doesn’t have preservatives.

This meal is super delicious and super simple! Perfect for meal prepping or a speedy, protein filled dinner. I added some sprouts and hummus to finish it off. Enjoy!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)

Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet

Ingredients

-1 chicken sausage, sliced

-1/2 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 cup broccoli florets

-1/2 a bell pepper, chopped

-5 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

-1/2 a medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup packed spinach

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-2 tbsp water

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the diced sweet potatoes and the broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes, until the sweet potato begins to soften.

2. Add the rest of the veggies, except for the spinach, to the pan, as well as the chicken sausage, Cook everything for 8 more minutes, until the sausage is golden brown on both sides.

3. Add the water, garlic powder, and spinach to the pan and cook until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve warm with some hummus and/or sprouts and enjoy!


Carrot Oat Cake

Hello! I’ve got another delicious oat recipe for you guys today. I already have a stovetop Carrot Cake Oatmeal recipe up on here, but this recipe is definitely more cake like and is faster to make! It cooks in the microwave- not the oven- because although baked oats are so tasty, I’m waaaaay too impatient to wait for those.

I love love LOVE oats if you couldn’t tell- they’re such a fast, healthy, and filling breakfast. Not to mention that they’re the perfect blank canvas for any delicious flavours you’d like!

I feel like carrot cake is kind of a spring thing, right? People make carrot cake for Easter all the time. We don’t need any justification to enjoy these oats right now though because carrot cake is delicious any time of year. To make this delicious breakfast/snack/dessert, you only need a few ingredients that you for sure already have on hand. And if you don’t then GO PICK THEM UP because this recipe is one you don’t want to miss.

I started by mixing together some grated carrot, apple, oat flour (just blended oats- this really helps with the more cakey texture), baking powder, vanilla, water, and a bunch of great spices together in a lil ramekin. And then BOOM the hardest part is over. The microwave will take over from here. The microwave is so underrated, honestly. It makes oats, SWEET POTATOES, and….. warms up your food. Ok I’m sure there are many uses for it that I haven’t discovered yet but for now, oats and sweet potatoes are enough for me because they’re two of my favourite things.

So yeah, two minutes in the microwave and you’ve got a BEAUTIFUL little cake that is perfect as a quick breakfast, a healthy dessert, or a snack anytime you’re craving some carrot cake! I love how the carrot shines through because it’s not too sweet. If you like your carrot cake a bit sweeter though, you can add about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Plus- get creative with some add-ins too! I went very classic with mine, but chopped nuts, raisins, or even pineapple would be very tasty in here. Those things would all be great as toppings too! After I took nice pictures of this I scooped it into a bigger bowl and ate it with lots more yogurt, the rest of the apple, and some peanut butter.

Hope you love this super delicious and quick carrot cake recipe as much as I do!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Carrot Oat Cake

Ingredients

-1/4 cup oat flour (blended oats)

-1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)

-1/2 an apple, grated

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/4 tsp allspice

-1/4 tsp ground ginger

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/4 tsp vanilla

-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water


Directions

1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin.

2. Microwave on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes, until a cakey texture is reached.

3. Top with yogurt, apples, and more cinnamon and enjoy!


April/May 2021 Reading List

I’M GOING SO SLOW this month! I’m still only like halfway through Women of Sand and Myrrh which isn’t bad but I’m not in love with it and it’s moving a lil slow so yeah. That’s the reason I never got around to writing my April Reading List! So we’re going to combine my list for both April and May because I have a quite a few books lined up right now and I’m EXCITED about them.

My book list just keeps getting longer and longer guys… and I’m only trying to read books that fit into my reading challenge so I can get it out of the way and start Game of Thrones, but there are lots of good ones that DON’T fit in there that I really want to read as well so we might get a little side tracked. But you know what, it’s ok because I’ve got my whole life to read all the amazing books out there.

Also, I’m very happy with how I’ve developed as a reader because even just a couple of years ago I was reading all fantasy all the time, and I’ve branched out so much! And sometimes when I go back and read some YA fantasy I find that I’m actually not that into it- unless it’s really really good. With YA fantasy though I think it’s good to take a bit of a break sometimes because after a while the backs of all of the books were starting to sound the same. I’m excited for Game of Thrones though because I do love me some good magic and kingdoms and battles and politics, and I feel like Game of Thrones will definitely deliver all that.

There’s no fantasy on this list again though; we’ve got a mix of adult historical fiction (I also love this genre) and straight up teen fiction. All of these books are highly acclaimed, and I love their descriptions. Two of them fit into my challenge and one of them doesn’t, but I really want to read it so I’m going to read it. I’ll be speedy so I an get back on track, I promise.

Here’s my reading list for April and May!

The Rose Code

I need to read one book that was published in 2021, and this is it. The Rose Code came out in March and is a historical fiction novel that follows three very different women working as code breakers at Bletchley Park in England during World War II. I think it goes on for a while about what happens as they’re breaking codes, and then at the end of the war they’re split up, only to be reunited seven years later by a mysterious letter that has them cracking one last code to find a traitor from their past. This is kind of a thick book- over 500 pages- but I feel like I’ll blast through it because like I said I love historical fiction, and the plot summary sounds super interesting to me! It’s kind of giving me Dear Mrs. Bird vibes, which is another novel set in WWII Britain but without the code breaking. Anyways if you’re into historical fiction definitely give this one and Dear Mrs. Bird a shot!

Thirteen Reasons Why

Next up we’ve got Thirteen Reasons Why, which is the book that was turned into a TV show I need for my challenge. I haven’t watched the series on Netflix but I’ve heard great things, so after I read this I might have to check it out! Clay Jensen returns home one day to find a package full of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Hannah says that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life, and that Clay is one of them. Clay follows Hannah’s tapes as the lead him all throughout the town and lead him to discover things he never knew. It sounds really good, kind of a thriller/mystery, and I’m really excited to get into it!

The Henna Artist

Sadly this is not in my challenge but it’s been on my list for a while so we’re going to get her done! Lakshmi is a seventeen year old girl who escapes an abusive marriage and becomes a henna artist in Jaipur during the 1950s. There is a high demand for her work from the wealthy upper class, and she becomes not only their henna artist but also their confidante. Her husband tracks her down and introduces her to a sister she never knew she had, threatening the cautious life she has led to protect her reputation. This book has great reviews as well, and I love reading books set in interesting places. Can’t wait!

Hop you got a little inspiration from my list! I think i should be finished by the end of May- if not before then- because these look like such great reads. So if I start reading other books I will definitely let you know. Happy reading!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

I’m loving my shrimp lately! It’s fast, easy, and so so good🙌 So I added it to this amazing pasta dish which uses a nice spring vegetable, the artichoke!

Artichokes can be a little scary to prepare because they’re not a super common vegetable. However, the flavour is DELICIOUS and they contain lots of antioxidants👌 I started by steaming my own artichokes and then using the hearts and stems, because the leaves are very fibrous. In the future I can do a whole post on how to prepare an artichoke. If you want to skip all the prep and get right to the pasta though, you can buy a jar of marinated artichokes. Either way, you’re getting lots of great flavour.

If you’re using marinated artichokes, then this dish comes together in a SNAP. We’re talking 15 minutes people. THAT’S A ONE. AND THAT’S A FIVE. I The artichokes are sautéed with some garlic, olive oil and cherry tomatoes, before the shrimp get added in with some salt and pepper. All of this together creates a really light sauce that is perfect to highlight the artichokes! I then tossed in some cooked lentil spaghetti, which is great because it’s packed full of protein. It’s also gluten free so that’s a win! Whole wheat or regular spaghetti works great too though!

Once everything’s tossed up, all that’s left to do is serve. This makes an amazing quick lunch or dinner, but it’s also kind of fancy so if your looking to treat yourself to a nice meal in, you’re all set. Hope you enjoy!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)

Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

Ingredients

-1/2 tbsp olive oil

-15 medium shrimp, tails off

-2 chopped artichoke hearts, steamed or marinated

-10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

-1 large clove of garlic, minced

-2 servings of cooked lentil, whole wheat or regular spaghetti

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic, tomatoes, and chopped artichoke hearts and cook for about 4 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and tender. Smash the tomatoes down during the cooking process to get the juices going in the pan.

2. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until they are light pink in colour. Season everything to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Add in the cooked pasta, remove from the heat and toss everything together.

4. Serve warm and enjoy:)


April 2021 Bullet Journal Set-Up

Hi guys! I’m a tad bit behind on my set-up this month but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and can’t wait to share!

I did something that I haven’t done in my journal before- watercolour. I didn’t paint directly into my journal because that probably would’ve bled through and caused some damage, but I painted on small pieces of watercolour paper and stuck them where I wanted on the pages. Combined with my brown kraft paper, it looks pretty sharp!🥰

I decided to paint olive branches because they’re fairly simple, have a nice colour palette and are also kind of special to me because my name is Olivia😂 With some brown watercolour, I painted the branch shape, and then went in with a bunch of different greens for the leaves and some black for the olives. I used my gold metallic marker in these spreads a lot as well!

One thing that wasn’t the greatest was my sticking-in method- I’m out of those glue tape roller things and had to use just regular tape😂 So the paper kind of sticks out a little which isn’t ideal. And the washi tape I used also keeps lifting up because it’s not very sticky. But you know what, it’s ok! I still like how it all looks and I will defintely remember to make sure I have decent glue next time.

These spreads are really simple and pretty and perfect for spring time:) Hope you get inspired!

First up it’s cover page time🙌 We’ve got that olive branch I did in water colour taped into the centre of the page over some torn kraft paper. I drew a diamond over top of the branch with my metallic gold marker and wrote April on top of that, finishing up with my washi tape! On the opposite page I tore out some more paper, drew another diamond, and wrote out my quote for the month. This month I want to work on some meditation and being able to create a place of stillness in my mind- it can be hard not to be thinking all of the time!

Next is my monthly calendar spread! I did a small calendar on one page, and made space for my goals, intentions, events and school stuff on the other. I also included another olive branch painting, and more kraft paper. The quote on the right hand side is “I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.” Which is important to remember🥰

My trackers this month are really simple, just that graph/chart style. I have yet another olive branch, a quote at the bottom, and more kraft paper! I really like how clean this looks, and the gold is so nice🙌🙌

Lastly I have my first weekly spread:) I did do a gratitude and blog planning spree as usual, but I just realized I didn’t take a picture! I’ll definitely post it on my Instagram though, so be sure to check that out. This weekly is super simple for the first three days of the month. I did a “Happy Easter” page opposite which I’ll post on my Instagram as well!

Have an amazing Easter weekend and a great month ahead! Make sure you get your journals ready so you can plan for success🙌

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))