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Cooking with Melody - meatless Monday edition

One of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating is to plan out your meals, right down to the shopping list. Try these healthy meal ideas to jump start your week. Adjust the quantities based on your serving size needs. These recipes provide basic recipe ideas, with the option to add other suggested ingredients for added depth and flavor - if time and budget permits. Simple & satisfying

Shopping list -Quick cooking oats (plain) -Frozen blueberries (unsweetened) -Walnuts -Brown sugar -Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") -Cinnamon -Sea salt -Unsweetened plain almond milk, or milk of your choice -Scallions -Kale -Salsa (preferably with corn) -Ripe avocado (should appear almost black and feel tender when you push a thumb into it) -Black beans (canned) -Baby carrots -Hummus (flavor of choice) -Organic soybean spaghetti, found at health food stores or online -Frozen vegetables, stir-fry variety -Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki marinade -Unsweetened cocoa powder -Ripe banana -Peanut butter (the kind made with just peanuts and sea salt, no oil)

Optional -Chia seeds, to help curb cravings and provide Omega-3s, protein, and fiber -Agave syrup, maple syrup or dates -Flax meal to provide many health benefits -Cherry tomatoes -Smoked Tobasco sauce -Tortilla chips -Black olives, any size -Cayenne pepper -Apple corer/slicer gadget -Avocado slicer/pitter/scooper

Breakfast: Blueberry "Cobbler" Oatmeal

Yields 1 serving, just multiply this if you'd like to make it for multiple days or multiple people.

Ingredients: -1/2 c. quick cooking oats (plain) -1/4 c frozen blueberries (unsweetened) -1/4 c. Walnuts, ground (chop about a cup finely in food processor then measure out the 1/4 c.) -1 Tbsp. brown sugar -1 tsp. cinnamon -Pinch of sea salt -Milk of your choice -1 tsp. flax meal, optional -Drizzle of agave syrup, maple syrup or chopped date (optional)

Blend walnuts in a food processor until they look like large crumbs. Measure out all ingredients except the blueberries and drop into a snack-size baggy the night before. Add the blueberries to the mix before you leave in the morning, or add them at work if you can store the blueberries there. Just add about 2/3 c. hot water to the mix once you get to work and stir. Cook for about a minute in the microwave, if needed. If you want it sweeter, add a bit of agave syrup or chopped date. Have it with a side of almond milk for a satisfying breakfast (or stir in a bit of the milk to cool down the oatmeal). Tip: Repeat the steps until you have enough baggies to fill your oatmeal container - that way, you'll have an ongoing supply of "homemade" oatmeal on the go.

Lunch: Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients -Handful of kale (rip it off the bunch), stems cut off -1/2 c. black beans (rinse if using canned) -1/2 c. cooked quinoa -1/4 c. salsa (preferably one containing corn) -1/2 avocado, cubed

Optional -Chopped tomatoes -Dash of smoked Tobasco -Tortilla chips, crunched in your hands -Sliced olives (if you want to get fancy!)

Kale is extremely good for you, but some people are intimidated by it. Check out this video for tips on how to easily prepare it. Toss the kale, beans, quinoa, salsa, and Tobasco sauce into a bowl, mix it up, then top it with the avocado and crunched up tortilla chips. Voila! Tip: Use this avocado 2-in-1 gadget

Snack Ideas -Baby carrots & store-bought hummus -Apple slices dipped in peanut butter (the kind that only has peanuts and sea salt in it, no oil), and chia seeds. Tip: Use this corer/slicer gadget

Dinner: "Ramen Noodles"

Ingredients: -Organic soybean spaghetti -Frozen mixed vegetables, stir-fry variety -Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki marinade

Optional -Dash of cayenne pepper -Scallions

Cook the spaghetti and vegetables according to package directions. Add a tablespoon or two of the Soy Vay marinade and toss. Garnish with scallions. Enjoy!

Dessert: Chocolate Banana "ice cream"

Ingredients: 1 frozen banana (peel and freeze ahead of time) -2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder -1/2 c. almond milk -Squirt of agave syrup -4 ice cubes -1 Tbsp. peanut butter, optional

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix) or food processor until well mixed. Add more liquid or sweetener based on your preference. Yummy!

What are your favorite weekly recipes?

Images care of tastykitchen.com

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