We are Amy and Gail Shingler, sisters-in-law and friends!

We are passionate about living authentic and intentional lives!

We are enthusiastic about healthy eating!

We created a space to share our favorite recipes & the life philosophies from which they stem!

Our desire is to inspire,

may you be edified by what you read here!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Warm Asian Vinaigrette

A few days ago a friend texted me the question,
"What is your favorite word?"
I responded, 
(I don't like to settle for anything less.)

Yesterday I took an online quiz titled:
Which Dictionary Word Best Describes You?
My answers yielded:
"You are misunderstood...and mysterious.
To those who can see below the surface, however, you are highly fascinating and truly lovable.
It might take a second for you to warm up,
but once you do, 
you're leagues ahead of everyone else.
You are authentic and extremely versatile."

Just like this vinaigrette. ;)

Use to marinate beef or chicken,

or, Vegans (unite!),
pour over greens and grilled vegetables.
Or, if you want a dish that goes beyond extraordinary,
marinate your meat and vegies before wrapping in a burrito,
and top with the simplest of guacamole made with avocado/crushed garlic/sea salt.
It's versatility is truly mysterious, fascinating, leagues ahead...
and extraordinary.
Don't settle for anything less in a vinaigrette,
Or in life.

Warm Asian Vinaigrette

2/3 cup rice vinegar (it can be brown)
1/4 cup soy sauce (or Nama Shoyu)
1/4 cup Mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
optional: add scallions, sesame seeds, fresh grated ginger and garlic.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Grateful Mindful Living

Yesterday, as my kiddos and I rode our bikes to school, I was filled with such gratefulness.  Watching Miranda, skirt flowing in the breeze, singing at the top of her lungs and loving every minute of the ride.  Then there was Gigi, seeing just how fast her little bike could go.  I sat there and just soaked it in, breathing in the morning air and taking time to be grateful for these simple yet profound moments.   Over the last few months we as a family have tried to experience life as it was meant to be lived.  Simple, not rushed, not filled with to do lists or expectations of others but truly learning to be.  Life is still busy but it is busy with intentionality and purpose.  I was reading a book about our thought life where the author made such a profound point.  He stressed that the things we thought about yesterday are realities in our life today. So in keeping with this theory the things we think about today will be our realities for tomorrow.  So I was reminded to keep my thought life positive, keep it real, keep it intentional.   With that said, anyone who knows me well, knows that I think about food a lot so I thought I'd share one of my latest yummies!  

We make this recipe weekly.  It keeps until the next day and is great to take on picnics or to put in wraps for a delicious lunch.  I love to watch my little kiddos eat this salad because they gobble it up and inevitably there are tiny strands of broccoli protruding from their mouths.  They just giggle and eat it up.  Raw broccoli is so good for you and it warms my heart when I can combine nourishment with the yum factor.

Broccoli Slaw Dressing 
(makes about 1 cup of dressing)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp dried sweetened cranberries
2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey or a few dates
1 small clove garlic
1 Tbsp juice from one cutie or small orange (optional)
2 Tbsp Flax Oil (I've made it without oil and it was still yummy)
1/4 cup Vegennaise
2 Tbsp water

Let sit in blender for 5-10 minutes to let cranberries plump up.  Blend on high until all is blended and pour onto the slaw (can be made several hours before serving)

Pour over 1 large package of raw broccoli slaw.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

Thank me later.
You're Welcome.
You will be adored.

1 C quick cooking oats
3/4 C flour (any kind U like)
1/3 C sugar (like coconut, sucanat, maple)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 C maple syrup
1/2 C safflower oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp molasses

Optional: 1/4 cup raisins or cranberries or Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips or dried plums or walnuts

I mix all the dry ingredients, then add the wet and stir.  
Roll into one inch balls.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.
Take them out and let them "fall" into a flattened shape.
They will be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Again, you're welcome.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Life's responsibilities begin to feel like a weight 

when we are no longer living out of our imagination, 
but rather from our memory; 
from our memory of what we did the day before, 
from our memory of what was expected of us in days past and recent, 
from our memory of what yielded responses that fed our egos 
and served our purposes with respect to our "image." 
Understanding that there are things and people we have accepted daily responsibility for, 
we can still live out of our imaginations, 
leaving space in our minds and spirits for Life to surprise us, 
to add a wave or bolt of the "delightfully unexpected" 
or "wondrously touching" 
to an otherwise routine day. 
Living from imagination involves waking like we did as children, 
excited about the possibilities of what a new day might hold;
there is a spark in the eyes, 
a song in the voice, 
and a spring in the step of those who live from their imaginations,
is that you?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Are the stories you tell yourself --- LOVE stories ?

It's not a good story if its not a LOVE story.

All of us have stories swirling around in our heads,
Moving in and out of our lives, always.
They are the "tapes" that play, the words of another, 
The things we tell ourselves about ourselves 
And about the others in our lives.
Some are stories that inspire us, delight us, excite us,
Others are stories that harden us, paralyze us, wither us.
If we can find the LOVE even in the stories that bring pain and sorrow,
Then they are worth keeping, to teach us and to "grow" us,
And to propel us forward.
If we cannot find the love in our stories,
It is time to let them go.
They will return again and again in different forms
Until we are ready and able to see the LOVE in them,
Until we are ready to see they are here to bring an awareness
To what needs attention in our lives.
Let go of the stories that make you sad, that grieve you,
The stories that tell you you are a victim,
That its not your fault, that it IS your fault,
That others are to blame for the unfortunate circumstances
In which you find yourself today, that YOU are to blame,
Let go of the stories that tell you you are not good enough,
Not worthy enough,
Or simply that you are not enough...for you are, just as you are,
Think on the stories of your strengths and your talents
And the ways you do and can give of yourself to others.
And then there will come a day when you see EVERY story
Is a LOVE story.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Journey

My daughter created this profound visual reminder of how we can live our lives in the moment.  We have been discussing the ease at which we tend to focus on the past or the future in our thought life.  We conclude... that it is beneficial not only to ourselves but also to those who "do life" with us to BE in the moment.  Some situations are simply about putting one foot in front of the other. Being mindful to not look at the path we have already paved and not looking ahead at the paths that our imaginations can drum up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beans, Beans, the Fountain of Youth!

Almost every Sunday or Monday  I make a huge pot of beans in my crock pot.  I add pinto, black, white or adzuki beans and then fill the crock pot with water until there is about 1-2 inches of water over the beans.  I cook them all day on low (or if I had a crazy morning I will set it on high for 4-6 hours).  After that point, I will add them to a recipe.  Or my favorite thing to do is add 1-TBSP minced garlic and some sea salt to taste and blend it up in my cuisinart until it is "refried".  Sometimes I add a little water to make it the right consistency.  YUMMY!  My family will use this big mother load batch all week for nutritious snacks and lunches using whole grain wraps or corn tortillas.   Click on the link below to watch this short clip about the benefits of eating beans on a daily basis.  It is informative.  Increased Lifespan From Beans | NutritionFacts.org

Saturday, October 5, 2013

state of grace

We make assumptions every day: 
about people within our own circles, 
the "others" around us, 
the president, 
about why they do the things they do, 
say the things they say, 
what they are thinking, 
what their motives and intentions are, 
we presume we understand where it ALL stems from. 
It gives us a 'misperception' of being 'in the know,' 
and so, being somehow 'in control' or 'of interest and import'. 
When we or someone else make a statement of assumption about another, 
it is fair and kind and loving to ask,
"Do you know that to be absolutely true?" or 
"How can you know that?" or 
"Do you KNOW that person?" or 
"Have you spoken intimately with him or her?" 
The answers to any or all of those questions define an assumption 
and help us see what is worthy of our time and energy to comment on.

Friday, September 20, 2013

progress not perfection

As you lean toward a plant-bsed lifestyle, remember: 
progress, not perfection! 
As much as this process is about being proactive and changing our habits, 
it is also about allowing the body to do what it innately knows how to do: 
process and let go of the old; 
and rejuvenate. 
So today, say to yourself: 
I trust the intelligence of my body. 
I ease into a new way of being.

I can relax knowing that my decision to eat a plant-based diet is well researched and sound. 
I have been moving toward the notion of conscious eating for many reasons, and I find myself at this place with an open mind.

The earth, with all its abundant riches, provides for me everything I need. 
I am becoming more aligned with the natural and benevolent flow of life. 
I ease into it, trusting that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. 
It's all about leaning in!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Back To School Morning Muffins

Yep!  It's that time again.  My youngest two girls started school last week and they were so excited.  As we begin to get back into the school morning routines, I've been on the lookout for easy, healthy, and yummy breakfast options.  The one I tried this week was chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.  They were a hit.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins
Serves 6-12

1 medium banana, mashed
1 (15-oz.) can sweet pumpkin puree
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups  oat flour (grind up oatmeal in blender)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup grain-sweetened dairy-free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

2. In a small bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Transfer mixture to large bowl and mix together gently until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Store muffins in an airtight container.

I love this recipe because:
1.  oatmeal is a great alternative to wheat 
2.  the only "sugar" is 1/4 cup maple syrup in 12 muffins
3.  There is no added oil or eggs used

Sounds like a great way to fuel the young minds in our household!  Happy schooling!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

practical steps to find a way forward

In the Shingler household, 
we are grateful 
for the techniques we have learned from Byron Katie, 
and it is BLISS to hear and see 
our 3 children use these techniques 
in various forms to help themselves, 
each other, US, and others, 
to find all there is to be grateful for, 
happy about, 
all there is to delight in 
and find comfort in, 
even in what seem like 
the WORST circumstances imaginable. 
There are many in our lives 
who do not see 
the beauty and richness of their own, 
we hope someday they will. 
There are many in our lives who do not see 
all the possibilities 
in their despair, barrenness, darkness, 
they do not see their value 
in what they believe is a "small" life, 
a life less than they want, 
a life less than they deserve. 
All we see is their magnificence, 
AH! if only all we had to do was tell them- 
for them to believe and see their blessings!

I love this letter to Byron Katie 
and I love her response, 
it does not minimize the facts of the situations 
in which people are truly grieving, 
but it gives practical steps to find a way forward 
and eventually beyond that grief. 
Our joy is up to us, 
what and who we trust in, 
what and who we believe in, 
has REAL power to transform us 
within and through circumstances 
we wish we did not find ourselves.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Oatmeal Choclate Chip Banana bread

We buy a crazy amount of bananas for our household.  The checkers at the grocery store usually have some cute comment to say like, "Are you guys monkeys?"  Well, this week I had a few extras that went uneaten and I decided it was time to try a new banana bread recipe.  I tried this one because it had a minor amount of oil and sugar.  Plus, it was made with oatmeal instead of the typical whole wheat flour I usually use.  It came out delicious and I thought I would pass it on.  The first time I made this I was skeptical that the recipe only called for 1 Tbsp of oil per loaf so I added 2 Tbsp per loaf.  It was delicious.  So, today I wanted to see if 1 Tbsp per loaf would work and yes sirree it sure did!  After I made it, my kiddos swarmed and devoured the loaf.  I must say, right out of the oven it is super yum! 

Here it is:

The Ingredients:
3 Cups Oatmeal
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt
3 Bananas, very ripe
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 Cup coconut sugar or date sugar or brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 Cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 Cup applesauce or 1 extra ripe banana
3 Tablespoons oatmeal & 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (optional for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
Make oat flour in a food processor or blender by processing oats for 1-2 minutes or until it resembles flour.
Add oat flour, whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat mashed bananas, brown sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil until smooth and creamy.
Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until well combined.  If it is too thick I add 1-2 Tbsp of almond milk.
Fold in dark chocolate chips and pour batter into pan.
Sprinkle top with 3 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.  (optional)
Bake for 35-40 minutes or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 15 minutes and then remove from pan and place on wire cooling rack.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sara Bareilles - Brave "let the words fall out..."

This is one of my favorite videos I watch at the gym in the morning.  It is sort of a theme song for me lately.  I believe we all need to practice and therefore live by truth telling with an emphasis on love and vulnerability.  Sometimes that takes bravery, well it does take bravery .  I love the lyric that says, "say what you want to say... let the words fall out."  I hope this inspires you and brings a smile to your face.

Monday, June 17, 2013

healthy summer watermelon salsa

Watermelon Salsa

Serve on tacos, burritos or next to a bowl of tortilla chips!
1 cup diced unpeeled nectarine
2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced 
1 tablespoon sweetener, like raw agave or honey
3 tablespoons fresh
lime juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cups seeded and diced watermelon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup diced red onion

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Add watermelon and next 2 ingredients, and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately with chips or tacos/burritos, or cover and chill up to 24 hours. Enjoy!