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The Challenge of Living Alone…and a Dinner Idea for Tonight!

Hey friends!

How is everyones Wednesday going so far? Hopefully well!  Yesterday started early with some well need class with Odyssey! For those of you who don’t know, Odyssey Dance Theatre is a professional dance company based in Utah.  I danced with them before I moved to Las Vegas and joined the Donny and Marie crew! I’m so thankful that they have been gracious enough to let me sneak in and take class! I love class.  I love being in a studio surrounded by talented dancers and all working hard to achieve personal goals.  No one is watching, and therefore it is my time to simply “be” and just dance to dance.  No audience there to judge, no costumes to slip on, and no job on the line.  It’s just what I need to balance the craziness of my job.

Thank you dance class…

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of things I wanted to talk about today.  First of all, I cooked quite a delicious dinner last night for my Mother-In-Law and Carson. I found this fantastic recipe over at healthfulpursuit with Leanne’s 2012 salad challenge and I had to make it!  Here is her recipe with my small changes added in! Head on over to her site for more awesome recipes for the new year or just to stalk all the deliciousness over there!

Hot and Wild Roasted Veggie Salad


  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, uncooked ( I used brown rice)

Cayenne roasted veggies

  • 1 yellow pepper, diced small ( I only had a red pepper on hand)
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 10 asparagus spears, diced small
  • 1 cup of corn (my addition)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne

Maple dressing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt or Herbamare
  • dash freshly ground pepper


  1. Wash brown rice with hot tap water, drain.
  2. Combine water, rice, and salt in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until rice is tender and has absorbed the water, about 30-45 minutes. If you want chewier rice, drain at the 30 minute mark as I did. The rice should be tender but not rolled back or mushy. Once complete, drain and place in a medium sized bowl to cool.  Or use a nifty rice cooker!
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
  4. Place pepper, carrot, corn, and asparagus in a cast iron pan and stir to coat with coconut oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cayenne. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Alternatively, you can do this on a stove top, cooking on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove veggies from oven and place in the bowl with rice.
  6. In a small dish combine olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over salad, stir, and enjoy.

Leanne’s photos of her dish are BEAUTIFUL so if you want to see them, click here but in the meantime, here is how mine turned out!

They were tasty! The perfect mix of sweet and savory! Carson even enjoyed it and he does not like veggies! Job well done if I do say so myself:) You could even add some chicken or fish for added protein if you eat meat:)

I have a goal this year to eat a salad everyday and believe me, I’m going to get real creative so I don’t get sick of salads!

Now for something a little bit more serious.  Starting Tuesday, I’ll be back in Vegas and officially living away from Carson.  I’m proud of Carson for finishing school and BYU has an incredible business school so we couldn’t pass it up.  Hopefully, I will be in Utah on my days off, but that still means spending Tuesday-Saturday by myself in Vegas.  Luckily, I’ve got little Remmie to keep me company and give me something to take care of but it will be a little difficult to say the least.  We feel blessed that Carson is back in school, in a great program, and on the road to graduation, as well as blessed to have my job. I wish they were in the same state, but what do ya do? Carson and I have decided to do our best and do it with a smile. This song has been buzzing around facebook and I just love Jason Mraz. Carson and I are going to stick it out through thick and thin, the good and the bad. Enjoy.



Jessie Ann









  • katie Carso
    January 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Awwww, I know it will be hard BUT yay for him to be getting a great education and finishing soon! Time will go fast too, and it will be all worth it!

    Always here for you if ya need me ; )

    • jessie.james
      January 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks katie! small sacrifice for the bigger picture! we can do it!!

  • Kristen
    January 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I’m going to make that recipe tonight, it looks so good! Got a little tear in my eye too for you and Carson. :'(

    • jessie.james
      January 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      The recipe is soooo good! we will be ok! we’ll stay busy and keep positive!

  • Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    January 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I love the addition of corn, Jessie! Good for you two for following your dreams, even if it means that you have to live apart for the time being. You’ll be so thankful once you’ve pushed through this and he has the education he’s always dreamed of and you two are together again!

    • jessie.james
      January 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you for the recipe! It will def be a repeat in my kitchen! Thanks for the support! Ill be sure to keep you posted on how it goes!


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