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Friends, the end of semester is upon me. The recipe posts have come to a halt. All my energy has been poured into final studying, project creating, and graphic designing. And boy can I feel it.

I knew it was coming two weeks ago when a head cold invaded my body and it has stuck around. My stress level has been high and my immune level has been low.

I have been thinking of some things I've been doing to help keep my sanity andI thought I would share them with you today!

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1. Keep that immune system up

-now I'm not saying eat ALL THE HEALTHY THINGS. Trust me, the chick fil a milkshake and french fries I ate last night does not support this tip. But find the little things that help keep your immune system up. Maybe its a smoothie, or for me, its supplements like Elderberry that I take daily during crazy stressful times. 

2. Cry

Sometimes you just need to cry it out. I'm HORRIBLE at this. I like to think I can keep it all in then one day a straw breaks my camels back and I'm done and I let it all out. Bless my husband because those are not his favorite days


3. Plan it out

Space out the work. Granted this only works if you are like me and feel like you work better over time then all at once. But if you have multiple things due, spread that work out, even if it's doing little bit every day, it will help your sanity.

4. Find the time to relax

Planning it out will help you find more time to relax. I like to plan most of my work/school work for the morning, so in the afternoon I can focus on easier work. Then, by the time the evening comes I have time to relax, watch TV, and spend time with the husband of pup.


5. Don't be the last minute perfectionist

I do this all the time. You know, when you look at the grading rubric and you compare it to your work to make sure it's perfect. I've given myself so many anxiety attacks this way. It is good to make sure it is meeting requirements, but find that line and don't drive yourself crazy trying to perfect the assignments.

Good Luck to all my other fellow college students finishing up their semesters!! 
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disclosure - I was sent these jars in exchange for a review. Opinions are 100% my own. 
Should You Buy Infinity Jars
If you've been keeping up with me this past year, you know I've been striving to replace a lot of my kitchen storage containers in general to glass! So I'm always looking for new and interesting glasses and jars to store my daily items.

Infinity jars are definitely a different type of storage container. In a completely good way!
Infinity Jars are created to be UV resistant with light filtering aspects. Whatever you chose to store in these jars, they will be preserved and rejuvenated for freshness. They use only the best premium imported European glass. They've done multiple test to show that their jars out performed amber and clear glass.

The jars I have..
Should you buy infinity jars?

Square Glass Bottle with Oil Spout
-I got this to store my Olive Oil because I keep my EVOO on the counter by the stove so it's in reach when I cook. Its the perfect size for a decent size bottle of EVOO.

Should You Buy Infinity Jars?

15ml Glass Pump Pump Bottle
- I'm putting my daily moisturizer in this little push glass bottle so it's not sitting in a plastic container.

Should You Buy Infinity Jars
2 x 15ml Pocket Glass Jar
- These little beauties are perfect for keeping salt in. I also keep this out in the open by my stove for easy access while I'm cooking!


Should you use/get them!?

In my personal opinion. Yes, if you keep some items out on your counter-tops that are exposed to light. For instance, I keep EVOO on my counter in my kitchen which get's a lot of light during they day. EVOO can really be effected by the light, so these jars are perfect for that! I also buy local roasted coffee beans weekly and those have to be kept in a dark cool place and these jars would be perfect for that.
I was thinking I would use the other ones for my personal care products, which I have put my moisturizer in the push pump, however, our bathroom has no windows or harsh light and I keep many of my person products in my cabinet so they don't really need to be protected from the light.

Bottom line

I think these jars are perfect for kitchen storage and keeping those perishables on your counters fresh and preserved.

Check all of there products by clicking here! 
They have some great deals and are not bad price wise! 
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I'm having a little bit of a writers block this week! I'm going to blame it on the cold that has invaded my system over the weekend. No fun.
I did have a friend ask me the other day what are my favorite quick (less then 30 minute) meals that I like to make from week to week for dinner. And OH do I have some favorites. 
I want to share them with you sweet friends! So here are a few of my favorite under 30 minute meals!
Under 30 Minute Meals


Dairy and Gluten Free Black Bean Taco Skillet
Tacos are always a quick and easy meal to make but sometimes you gotta spice it up. My favorite way is with this Black Bean Taco Skillet.


 Veggie Stir Fry. Gluten Free and Organic
This is a classic Simply Samantha recipe. If you have leftover rice or just prep some rice ahead of time, this recipe can EASILY be made under 20 minutes 

Vegtarian, Gluten Free Pad Thai
My next favorite easy and quick meal that is actually on the menu this week is my Pad Thai recipe. You can also add any leftover proteins (such as chicken) to this meal and make it even better.
Or you can do what my husband likes to do and add ALL THE SRIRACHA to his Pad Thai.

BBQ Sweet Potato Burgers
Sweet Potato Burgers is my favorite meatless BBQ alternative. It takes just a matter of minutes to heat up with a few simple ingredients. You can even cater it to your taste by using YOUR favorite BBQ sauce.

Tuna Burgers. Gluten Free.
Deep in the Simply Samantha archives is this little beauty.  A family recipe that has continued to be a staple in my household with my husband.

Obviously I have more amazing meals that are quick and simple. Just head over to my Pinterest page to see them!

Also, I try my best to make sure I share my recipes on my social media on the days they are on the menu in my house! 
So be sure to be following me on all my social media accounts! 
Links to those are at the top of the page.
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Making the perfect gluten free lasagna is a struggle sometimes! Even my wonderful crock pot recipe is still tricky because GF noodles can be temperamental. 
This recipe is definitely much easier, less temperamental, but still holds those lasagna flavors! 
One Pot Lasagna Soup -Gluten Free and Vegan
What You'll Need
Olive Oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
14oz of Crushed Tomatoes
 14oz can of Diced Tomatoes
1 medium diced onion
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
2 cups of spinach
8 gluten free lasagna noodles
3 cloves of garlic minced
One Pot Lasagna Soup - Gluten Free + Vegan
Directions
  • In a large pot, saute onions in oil till translucent. Add garlic and mix till fragrant.
  • Then add in the oregano and basil and stir
  • Next, add in vegetable broth, crushed and diced tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, brake noodles and add to the pot
  •  Then add beyond beef crumbles and stir.
  • When you feel like noodles are starting to get tender (about 10 minutes), add in spinach and cook till wilted.
    • if you feel like your soup needs more liquid add more veggie broth
  • Once noodles are tender, serve in a bowl topped with cashew ricotta! (recipe here)
 One Pot Lasagna Soup - Gluten Free and Vegan
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I can hear my Irish ancestors rolling over in their grave when they hear me say that I forgot about St.Patricks day till about a week ago. Even then, I've still dragged my feet trying to decide what I'm going to make for St. Patty's dinner.

I've come up with a few ideas that I'm going to share with y'all! 
Hopefully these recipes get you in the St.Patricks Day mood!
5 Last Minute Irish Meals for St Patty's Day
Gluten-Free Ranch Potato Biscuits | Healthy Helper @Healthy_Helper A healthy take on a carb-filled favorite! Ranch-flavored, creamy tasting biscuits with the added softness of potatoes and the doughiness of gluten-free oat flour. The perfect addition to your holiday table or dinner menu for the week!
Potatoes and Biscuits. Two of my favorite things!
Kaila over at Healthy Helper blog has my heart with some of her unique recipes such as this one! Super simple and quick too!
Want to be adventurous and try something traditionally Irish with a twist? 
How about Jessica's Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Maple and Tyme! It's almost to pretty to eat! 
Colcannon - classic Irish dish:
I think a traditional potato dish is calling my name! Some Colcannon is definitely on the menu for Friday night! 
I love the simplicity of this recipe! I may make this on another night just 'cause'!
RECIPE


photo property of blogger missinthekitchen
Lastly everyone needs a good slow cooker recipe! I made this last year for St.Partricks Day. It was a hit with the husband!
RECIPE 

I hope these recipes inspired you!
And I hope you have an amazing St. Patricks Day!
Sláinte
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I love companies that strive to be transparent and environmentally friendly! That's why I love Stonyfield and why I am very excited to help them announce that StonyField is B-Corp certified!
Stonyfield and B-Corps 
What does it mean to be B-corp certified and what it matters?
"Certified B Corporations® are leaders of the global movement of People Using Business as a Force for Good™. Certified B Corporations® meet the highest standards of verified overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
You can find out more about B Corps™ at www.bcorporation.net."


Here is a lovely statement from Stonyfield about why they are excited to become B-Certified!
"At Stonyfield, we think about the impact of everything we do—from what’s in the cup and how it’s made, to how it gets to you. We’ve been on a mission to create food that’s good for us, our kids and the environment all along. We don’t have all the answers, but we believe it’s important to take care of the world around us to make food that you can feel good about feeding your family.
We are very proud to join forces with a thoughtful group of businesses around the world who believe they have a responsibility to others, to serve more than just shareholders and to create social value. The movement is global, and the benefits are local for everyone."

 Stonyfield B-Corp
I don't know about you, but I love when I see more labels on more products! So seeing my favorite brands, such as Stonyfield (and the ones above!), sporting this new label that means so many great things is exciting to me as consumer! 

as a part of the StonyField clean plate blogger program, I was given products in this post in exchange for a post. Opinions are 100% my own. 
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I'm not even going to try to set this up. It is what the title says it is! GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE Chicken Parmesan!!
I impressed even myself with this recipe. Mind blown.
 Chicken Parmesan - Gluten Free and Dairy Free!
INGREDIENTS
1 pound boneless chicken breasts (skinless)
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs - I used - 
1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese (HIGHLY recommend Follow Your Heart)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can or jar of tomato sauce
Shredded Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (again, HIGHLY recommend Follow Your Heart
Chicken Parmesan Gluten and Dairy Free

DIRECTIONS


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Depending on the size of your chicken, slice horizontal so you have 4 equal pieces (thats how it ended up with mine because my chicken breasts were very big, but if yours are not, do not worry about it, just use as is)
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken.
  • Add flour to bowl. Add beaten egg to another bowl. Combine panko crumbs with 1/2 cup parmesan (don't forget this part) along with the basil and oregano in a dish large enough for the chicken breasts.
  • Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Coat chicken in flour, then egg, then cover with bread crumb mixture. Get as much to stick as you can.
  • Add your coated chicken to the heated/oiled pan.
  • Cook each breast until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and transfer to baking sheet.
  • Place the chicken on a sprayed sheet and cook till chicken is cooked through (like I said, my pieces were thick so it took about 10-15minutes).
  • With 5 minutes left, top with mozzarella cheese and sauce and cook till melted


  •  Chicken Parmesan - Gluten Free and Dairy Free
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    as a part of the StonyField clean plate blogger program, I was given products in this post in exchange for a post. Opinions are 100% my own. 
    I'm always up for spicing up a traditional recipe. Brownies, so simple and tasty, could always use a new spin on them.
    I couldn't help myself from tasting this frosting as I whipped it up over the weekend. The vanilla Stonyfield Grassfed Greek yogurt paired so nicely with the Almond Butter, so creamy and a lovely topping to the chocolatey goodness of the brownie.

     Gluten Free Brownies with Almond Butter Greek Yogurt Frosting

    Almond Butter Greek Yogurt Frosting
    8oz of Stonyfield GrassFed Greek Yogurt (vanilla bean flavor is optional but highly recommend)
    2 Tablespoons of Cream Cheese *softened*
    3 Tablespoons of Almond Butter
    2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Gluten Free Brownies with ALmond butter greek yogurt frosting

    Directions
    Bake your brownies according whatever box or recipe you love use! I happened to have a box of a Gluten Free mix in my cabinet so I just whipped that up, baked it, and let it cool slightly.
    • In a mixing bowl, mix Greek yogurt and almond butter together. Blend with a stand mixer or hand mixer for about 1 minute.
    • Next, add the cream cheese and maple syrup and beat for another 2 minutes until creamy. I ended up putting another tablespoon of cream cheese in mine, if you feel its not creamy enough after the 2 initial tablespoons, add more.
    • Then, add the vanilla extract and beat again till smooth.
    • Taste the frosting and add more maple syrup or vanilla if desired.
    • Let it set in the fridge for about 30 minutes till stiff
    • Spoon and spread over cooled brownies and serve! 
    Gluten Free Brownies with Almond Butter Frosting

    I absolutely loved using the Almond Butter from Woodstock, they have a wonderful range of products that pair nicely with any recipe or even just a simple snack! I love their line of "Craving" snacks, cause we all know we have those days when we have major snack time cravings! Their products help you make great non-gmo + organic snack time choices!
    Woodstock Foods

    And who doesn't like a little BTS photo, Bruno was VERY Interest in the chocolate goodness that was VERY much at his level. I was blocking his one easy way to get so he took extra measures to get in as close as he could to the brownies
    Almond Butter Brownies and Bruno
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    Is there anything better then walking in the front door after a day of work and smelling the deliciousness that awaits you in the crock pot!?? It's one of my favorite things to come home too.
    This crock pot lasagna is that type of crock pot recipe that creates this amazing smell that will make you want to dive right into it at the end of the day.
    Crock Pot Veggie Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese
    Crock Pot Lasagna 
    (2) 24 ounce jars or cans of Italian tomato sauce ( I used 1 and 1/2 jars)
    I box of gluten free lasagna noodles
    Cashew Ricotta Cheese (see recipe below)
    3-4 cups chopped vegetables of choice (I used spinach)
    2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella cheese 
    Vegan Parmesan cheese for topping
     Cashew Ricotta Cheese
    Cashew Ricotta Cheese 
    2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, then drained
    2 garlic cloves
    3 tbsp lemon juice
    ¼ cup plain non-dairy milk (I used soy)
    1 tbsp maple syrup
    1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    ½ tbsp dried basil
    ⅓ cup fresh chives
    1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    ½ tsp salt
    Blend all ingredients in a food processor till ricotta like constancy. It should be smooth but still have some texture.
     *I usually add just a tad more syrup and milk to get it a little softer and smoother. 
    Crock Pot Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta Cheese - Vegan and Gluten free
    Directions 

  • Spray the crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce to the bottom so the noodles don't stick.
  • Break noodles so that they fit and mostly cover the bottom. It may look a little crazy and uneven but no worries! Cover with about one third of the ricotta, veggies, sauce, cheese, and end with noodles. Repeat layers two more times for a total of three complete layers. End with a layer of noodles on top, covered with a thin layer of sauce and a little bit more shredded cheese.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. If it seems watery (it may not if you make the cashew ricotta) turn the crock pot off and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. But I've typically never had this problem with the cashew ricotta. 
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    As you know, I don't ever consider myself fully vegan. I like my organic dairy every now and then, and I also live in the south so chick-fil-a is a way of life.
    However, I like to delve into vegan recipes from time to time on the days I feel my body needs a little break from my normal eating lifestyle.

    I wasn't sure how this recipe was going to come out. It only requires two ingredients and a little time on the stove.
    I was quite impressed at the outcome and snacked on it while I was preparing all the other game day dips and snacks this past weeks super bowl.
    I bet if you if you didn't even mention to your friends that it was vegan they wouldn't even notice! 

    Easy Vegan Queso - 2 Ingredients - No Veggies, Tofu, or Nuts
    I took this photo a day after I initially made it, so it is not a smooth as it comes out when you make it the day of.

    EASY Vegan Queso
    (no nuts, veggies, or tofu)
    1 cup of your favorite salsa

    • In a small pot add 1 cup of salsa and warm up. 
    • Next, add a handful of shreds to the pot till melted together, continue this till it is all blended (you will end up using most of the bag, I had about 1/4 cup left)
    • Throw in a dish when it is all melted, with some chips on the side, and your are done! 

    Easy Vegan Queso - 2 Ingredients - No Veggies, Tofu, or Nuts

    Typically normal shredded cheese doesn't melt well together for queso (or taste good for that matter) but because of the vegan cheese it blends VERY well, as if you used a huge block of velveeta cheese.

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