Planter Box Update

Last week, we showed you how to make an awesome (yes, we’ll toot our own horn) DIY Raised Planter Box. This weekend, we went out and planned (and planted) our urban garden. Here’s what we got:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Basil

Before planting our vegetables, Joey did his homework on what soil combination to use and how much and what type of soil our planter box would need.  He found the website to be very helpful in determining how much soil to use with their calculator and the ratio of  topsoil, compost, potting soil, and fertilizer.  Here is what we used:

Here is how we mixed the soils together:

  1. Garden Soil (1 bag)
  2. Compost (Entire Bag)
  3. Lightly mix the two together
  4. Potting mix (entire bag)
  5. Lightly mix
  6. Sprinkle some fish fertilizer
  7. Remaining Garden Soil
  8. Sprinkle more fish fertilizer
  9. Water the soil until it starts to leak from the bottom
**We drilled a few hols in the bottom of the bed so the water could drain easier**

Unintentionally we waited a day of two before planting the vegetables and they seem to be taking to the soil well.  The goal of the soil composition above is to retain the nutrients and water so the plants have time to absorb them to grow big and fruitful! Fingers crossed that is works!!

As always, feel free to run any questions past us and let us know how it works for you.



Sweet Potato & Chicken Power Bowl

Inspiration Sparker

This recipe was supposed to be completely different. We were actually hoping to prepare CookingLight’s Beef and Broccoli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Unfortunately, the sweet potatoes had some bruising on them, so we were forced to cut those spots off and salvage what was left. Fortunately, what we created instead was delicious!


We are excited to share this Sweet Potato & Chicken Power Bowl treat with you. It should provide about four servings and is in line with the Paleo diet. We always try to stretch our meals so we have lunch the next day. We save a lot of money by not going out to eat for lunch, despite it being a culture at both of our offices. To note, this meal could also easily be made to Whole30 standards if you substitute the jarred roasted red bell peppers and olive oil. Either way, here goes nothing:


  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 spear of broccoli
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Volcano Spice Gourmet Seasonings’ Hawaiian Style Chili Salt
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • Cracked pepper to taste



  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. While the oven gets to temperature, peel and dice sweet potatoes. (Since our potatoes had some bruising, we were forced to peel them to ensure we removed all of those bruised areas. But you don’t have to peel them if you don’t want to!)
  3. Lightly coat diced sweet potatoes with a one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with one tablespoon of the Volcano Spice Gourmet Seasonings’ Hawaiian Style Chili Salt, one teaspoon of onion powder, one teaspoon of garlic power, parsley flakes, and cracked pepper to liking.
  4. Place on baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes.
  5. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, remove broccoli florets from their stems.
  6. Lightly coat broccoli florets with a one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with one tablespoon of the Volcano Spice Gourmet Seasonings’ Hawaiian Style Chili Salt, one teaspoon of onion powder, one teaspoon of garlic power, and cracked pepper to liking.
  7. At this point, the sweet potatoes should have been roasting for about 12 minutes. Remove them from oven, flip, and sprinkle broccoli over the diced sweet potatoes.
  8. Roast for another 12-15 minutes until broccoli florets become golden.
  9. While the broccoli and sweet potatoes continue to roast, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat, and swirl to coast the pan.
  10. Add chopped onion and red bell peppers, and cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  11. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  12. Stir in red pepper flakes, one tablespoon Volcano Spice Gourmet Seasonings’ Hawaiian Style Chili Salt, one teaspoon onion powder, one teaspoon garlic powder, one teaspoon chili powder.
  13. Add ground chicken, and cook approximately 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.
  14. Remove sweet potatoes and broccoli from oven. Divide into fourths and place 1/4 in bowl. Top sweet potatoes and broccoli with 1/4 chicken mix from saucepan. Garnish with green onions (because we were able to be fancy this week).
  15. ENJOY!

Here are some pictures from the process:

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This healthy power bowl gives you a lot of energy and fills you up for a long period of time. It’s easy to prepare, especially if you pre-chop all of the vegetables. Without pre-chopping our vegetables, it probably took us about an hour to make. Although green onions is something we would not typically have minded skipping, we think it complements this recipe really well, so we highly recommend.

If you make this soon, let us know how it goes!