Monthly Archives: June 2012

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Recipe

Standard

Since squash borers killed all my beloved zucchini plants, I have been buying huge organic zucchini from a local farm. What better to do with a vegetable than make dessert? This zucchini bread is pretty much like healthier, veggie packed chocolate cake that you can justify eating for breakfast. Sounds good to me!

IMG_6589

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread:

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup shredded zucchini, packed pretty well

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Melt coconut butter. Add applesauce, vanilla, eggs, and sugar. In a separate bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix wet and dry along with zucchini. Do not drain the zucchini, you want the moisture it has. Once its mixed, add chocolate chips.

IMG_6583

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350F for 40-50 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

IMG_6586

Let cool for 5-10 minutes and slice into 12 slices. Slather on a little butter while still warm and devour!

IMG_6590

Or load it up with peanut butter, add a banana, and call it breakfast!

IMG_6593

The nutritional stats are stellar! per slice:

Calories : 113

Total Fat: 2.6g

Sodium: 62mg (3%)

Total Carbohydrates: 21g

Protein: 3 g

Advertisements

Munchin Meals; Dealing with Food Allergies

Standard

As of this past Sunday night, both of my girls have food allergies. Alyssa has a severe allergy to cashews, but we have to avoid all tree nuts and anything processed in a factory with tree nuts. We carry Benadryl and epi pens for her. We just found out Cassidy has an egg allergy on Sunday night. She has not been to the allergist yet so we don’t know how serious it is. We have no clue if her reactions will just be hives or full out anaphylaxis. She may be able to eat foods with egg cooked in them (like baked goods that baked in the oven for a long time) but just not things like scrambled eggs. Or she could have to avoid anything processed in a factory with eggs and need an epi pen as well. We can’t get an appointment with an allergist until August (!) but her pediatrician said to test it out and see if she can eat eggs cooked in things. How nerve wrecking is that? I’m not so sure I can do it. But IF I do, I think I am going to literally drive to the hospital and give it to her in the parking lot. I know, I am that paranoid mom! And since I am still breastfeeding, I can’t eat any foods containing egg either.

Breakfast: Cassidy had the two containers on the right. One was whole wheat bread and the other was organic pears. Alyssa’s breakfast was a chopped pear, a tiny piece of zucchini bread, and a cup of organic 2% milk.

IMG_6704

I knew Alyssa would have a snack about an hour later at vacation bible school so I kept her breakfast light. The heart shaped sandwich and the chocolate covered graham crackers were her snack I made for vacation bible school. Snacks are provided at VBS but they are prepared by different volunteers, so I can’t trust their kitchens are nut free. I found out what they were serving each day at camp, and I am recreating the same snack in my own kitchen every night. That way she can still have the same snack as the other kids but I feel comfortable knowing I made it. Today’s snack was a heart shaped jelly sandwich and chocolate dipped cookies. This is not usually something I would serve Alyssa at 10 am but it makes her feel normal eating the same thing as the other kids, so that makes me really happy to do for her. And making it myself means its healthier since my bread is whole wheat and the jelly is 100% fruit. The cookie is also a homemade whole wheat chocolate graham cracker.

Lunch:  Steamed green beans from my garden, cheddar cheese, watermelon, lentils

IMG_6691

This was Cassidy’s plate. Alyssa ate the same thing but about 3 times the amount. Alyssa has been an eating machine lately. I guess she’s going through a growth spurt.

Snack: Cassidy was nursed before her nap and Alyssa had a slice of chocolate zucchini bread.

IMG_6696

Dinner: Lentil tacos with organic baked sweet potatoes.

Cassidys portion was deconstructed…

IMG_6700

Alyssa’s portion…

IMG_6697

Snack: Cassidy had 2 oz breastmilk with 1/4 cup oatmeal. Alyssa had a couple pieces of watermelon and a hersey kiss.

And Cassidy also nurses 5 times total in the day. I don’t feel like she nursed all that much at each session though yesterday. Maybe its because she ate more solids than usual. Now that she is 10 1/2 months I guess solids will start taking over more and she will be nursing less. I would be lying if I said that makes me sad. I love nursing her, its such a sweet and calm time I get to spend with her every day.

And my proud mamma moment of the day? I asked Alyssa what kind of juice they gave her at VBS so I could add it to her Munchkin Meal. She said “I am not sure Mommy. I told my teacher I needed water instead because I knew you didn’t check the package on the juice to check if it was processed in a factory with tree nuts”. She is getting so responsible with her allergy lately! What 3 year old turns down juice (and bday cake at a party a couple weeks ago)? I felt terrible though because juice is pretty much always safe for her but I totally forgot to check and give her teacher the go ahead to give it to her. I am checking the label this morning so she can have juice the next 2 days with her friends. And if its not, I will be running to the grocery store really quick to pick her up some!

Another Good Weekend Turned Bad

Standard

Let’s start off with the good… We kicked off our weekend on Friday blueberry picking. We have a pesticide free farm right down the street. We picked almost 4 pints of blueberries. The farm owner also sells zucchini, cucumbers, honey, eggs, and more depending on the season and his crop production. I talked to the owner about some zucchini growing tips and when it came time to pay he gave me a HUGE deal. 4 pints of blueberries, 5 cucumbers, and 2 squash for a whopping 5 bucks! And all pesticide free. One pint of organic blueberries are often more than $5 alone! We spent the rest of the day at the pool and the girls had an amazing time. Cassidy is fearless in the water just like her big sister!

IMG_6569

Saturday we went to Lowes for the kid’s build and grow workshop. Alyssa “bammed” as she says, which means hammered. She built a little wooden car and got a free pair of goggles and an apron. It was really cute! The rest of the day was pretty low key. We made some hummus and ate 3 of our cucumbers and 2 peppers out of our own garden.

IMG_6566

We also baked more homemade graham crackers and some cookie dough hummus for dipping.

IMG_6574

Sunday we went to church and I left Cassidy in the church nursery for the first time! I only left her for half the service because I didn’t want to let her get to the point where she was crying and fed up. She did great though. We had lunch at church and helped set up for the upcoming vacation bible school Alyssa will be attending all week. It’s the first time I have ever dropped her off somewhere and left. She has yet to go to preschool either. I am quite nervous, especially with her nut allergy. They assured me there was not nuts in anything they are serving and I was almost going to let her eat the same snack as the other kids. But I got a reality check and my paranoid parenting kicked back in on Sunday night and I decided I would pack her own snacks for the week. And for Thursday I am actually making snack for the entire VBS, 250 rice krispie treats! And what was my reality check?

IMG_6680

We had an allergy issue Sunday night. Although it wasn’t with Alyssa. I fried 2 organic eggs to top on a salad as part of dinner. I took the yolk out of one egg and fed it to Cassidy. After her second bite she started rubbing all over her face and I noticed she looked like this.

IMG_6681

She had hives all around her mouth. I remember this all too well from Alyssa’s reaction to cashews. I washed her down, took the egg out of her mouth, and called ask a nurse. She told me babies can’t have egg whites before one, something I already knew. And I am that overly paranoid mom that follows ALL the rules. If she was 11 1/2 months, I still wouldn’t have given her the whites until her actual 1st birthday. I told the nurse I knew that and I only gave her the yolk.

Then get this…she says “well do you think the white could have accidentally touched the yolk?”. Umm are you serious? Of course the yolk touched the white, haven’t you ever seen an egg?! The yolk is surrounded by the white! I obviously meant to remove all the egg white, but maybe there was a tiny bit left on there? But at 10 1/2 months, she is pretty close to 1 and I know plenty of moms who give their kids scrambled eggs well before 1, so it shouldn’t have been a huge deal if a microscopic piece of egg white was left on. But apparently it was. She has eaten egg yolks plenty of times the last month or two with no problem and has eaten things like pancakes and breads made with egg (which is considered ok before 1).

We are headed to her pediatrician tomorrow morning and then to a pediatric allergist soon after.

Not even a fresh loaf of chocolate zucchini bread could make this better. Although it was quite tasty.

IMG_6683

So now I guess we will have a nut free and egg free house. And since I am breastfeeding I think I am going to have to avoid egg containing foods as well. I just don’t understand… I feed them so healthy, they rarely eat processed foods, and I follow all the recommendations on introducing allergenic foods…why are so many kids developing food allergies these days?

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Standard

The one food we can never eat because of Alyssa’s allergy is Chinese food. They have cashews in a lot of their dishes and lets be honest, I am not going to trust a typical Chinese restaurant to understand my child has a food allergy and to practice good separation practices. I make fried rice and lo mein often, but I wanted to try something a little different.

IMG_6565

Sweet and Sour Chicken was on the menu last week when we had some friends over. I was a little nervous making a new dish to serve for company but it turned out great! Alyssa gobbled it up and ate thirds! I made it again a couple nights later so I could save the recipe and measure things out before I forgot what I did. I needed to add this to the recipe files!

IMG_6432

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:

serves 4

1 lb chicken (I used thighs), cut into 1 inch pieces

salt + pepper

1/4-1/3 cup cornstarch

1 egg, beaten

1 Tb oil

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbs chicken broth

2 Tbs pineapple juice

2 Tbs vinegar

1 Tb ketchup

1 Tb soy sauce

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp ginger

Salt and pepper the chicken then coat in the corn starch.

IMG_6558

Cover in the beaten egg.

IMG_6559

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat and add chicken pieces. Cook for 3-5 minutes to slightly brown the outside, stirring the chicken a couple times.

IMG_6561

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together.

Place the chicken in a greased baking dish and pour 3/4 of the sauce over to coat chicken. Cook at 325 F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Heat remaining sauce in microwave for a minute then pour over finished chicken.

IMG_6431

Serve over brown rice to soak up some of that extra sauce and a side of steamed veggies. Or with some homemade vegetable fried rice like I did the first time I made it.

IMG_6562

The corn starch and egg puffed up nicely and soaked up the sauce. This tasted like authentic Chinese food but without the greasy after feeling.  Enjoy the takeout taste without the takeout grease!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 310

Fat: 8 g

Sodium: 391 mg (16%)

Carbohydrates: 22 g

Sugars: 14 g

Protein: 35 g

Munchkin Meals

Standard

A Healthy Slice of Life is hosting a link up similar to What I Ate Wednesday except its for our kiddos. Love the idea since I am always curious what other kids the same age as mine eat. As a whole, I try to feed my babies only organic whole foods. I am pretty successful while we are at home, and we do eat at least 95% of our meals at home. But maybe 2-3 times a month we will have a meal out, and its harder to control the health factor when someone else is cooking for you.

IMG_6526

For the most part my 10 month old, Cassidy, still gets the majority of her nutrition from breast milk. She nurses for 5-10 minutes at each feeding which happens roughly at 830 am, 1130 am, 215 pm, 515 pm, 815 pm. Her nursing has gotten very efficient lately and I estimate she gets about 25-30 ounces a day. But that is a complete and total guess since I just breast feed and she has never taken a bottle, little stinker! She goes in waves as to how much solid food she eats. She is on an eating spurt right now so this is definitely at the higher end of what she eats.

Breakfast (915): 1/4 banana and 1/4 cup brown rice puffs.

IMG_6521

These puffs have 1 ingredient, puffed brown rice. No sugar, salt, additives, or preservatives. Sometimes she won’t eat any solid food for breakfast at all, I guess maybe she drinks a lot of breast milk upon waking so she’s still full. I’d say she only eats breakfast 3 times a week. I always offer it, but she throws it on the floor if she doesnt want it.

Lunch(1 pm): 1/4 avocado, 1/4 peach, 1/4 hotdog bun.

IMG_6518

Since we were at another carnival today, I let her gnaw on a bun. I brought the avocado and peach proportioned.

Dinner(6pm): 1/4 organic chicken sausage, 1/2 ear corn on the cob (but she only probably got half the corn off),  homemade baked “french fries”.

IMG_6522

The fries were just sliced potatoes roasted with a little olive oil. She LOVED the potatoes. I slide a little food towards her at a time because otherwise she ends up playing with it and shoving it all on the floor.

Bedtime Snack (715 pm): 2 oz breast milk mixed with 1/4 cup baby oatmeal cereal (for iron since I don’t give her those nasty multivitamins and she doesn’t drink any formula, which is often fortified with iron)

So over the course of the day she got 2 servings fruit, 3 servings vegetables, 4 servings whole grain, and 1 serving protein. Everything was organic besides the hotdog bun and corn on the cob. Usually she has protein and cheese at lunch as well but I didn’t want to feed her a hotdog and didn’t want to bring meat and cheese out in the heat and risk it spoiling. She LOVES cheese. I’d say its her favorite food. Maybe i should start giving it to her at breakfast since I know she’ll eat cheese anytime!

According to WebMD babies 5-12 months need an average of 850 calories per day. Cassidy got roughly 350 from solid foods and 450-550 (again a very rough estimate) from breast milk, so 800-900 total.

Alyssa, who is 3 1/2, ate…

Breakfast (845 am): 1 cup multigrain cheerios, 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup 1% milk on top. 1 cup 1% milk in a cup.

Lunch (1 pm): Smoothie with banana, strawberries, almond milk, and spinach (at 1130 am). 1/2 hotdog with bun.

I made Alyssa and myself smoothies for on the way to the carnival since I didn’t know what kind of food would be available. I do this quite often if I know we will be eating an unhealthier meal out.

Dinner (6 pm): 3/4 chicken sausage, pile of baked fries, 3/4 corn on the cob.  Quite a few homemade graham crackers and 1/4 of a banana for dessert.

IMG_6523

Overall Alyssa had 3 servings fruit, 3 servings vegetables, 3 servings protein, 2 servings dairy, 4 servings whole grain. According to WebMD a 3 year old should consume between 1000-1400 calories depending on activity level. She ate roughly 1150.

Feeding Philosophy:

I take slightly different approaches to the way I feed my baby versus my preschooler. Cassidy is only 10 months so she never gets what we call “special treats”. Special treats are a lollipop, a donut, a rice Krispy treat, etc. Alyssa gets them sometimes, mostly when we are out at a birthday party or BBQ, which is quite frequent in the summer months. I also bake a lot in the evenings with Alyssa so she will eat our (mostly) healthy creations. Cassidy has never tasted anything sweet like cake, ice cream, cookies,etc. And she doesn’t know any better so I figure why would I introduce those things to her. She thinks fruit is dessert and I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.

Once Alyssa hit around 2, she realized hmmm cookies are good! So now that she is older, she has those things sometimes, although mostly homemade. I feel like if i restrict her from having any unhealthier type foods then she will just want it all the more since you always want what you can’t have. She its not that she “can’t” have those things, its just a “special treat”. I treat her diet the same way I treat my own eating. She eats healthy the majority of the time but if we are at a BBQ, sure she can have a couple chips and a cookie, but not until she eats her veggies and protein.

As far as drinking goes, Cassidy is still on breast milk only. She doesn’t even like water out of a sippy cup. I have bought like 5 different sippy cups and she just doesn’t like them. She’ll play but won’t drink. Alyssa drinks organic milk (usually 2%) or water. At almost 4, she has yet to try soda, and I plan on keeping it that way as long as I can. I don’t drink it, so she has no reason to. Maybe once or twice a month she will have a cup of juice if we are at a party and other kids have it. Even 100% fruit juice is just the sugar from fruit, not the good fiber and nutrients. She eats plenty of whole fruit though. Smoothies however you get the whole fruit and she loooooves them! But again, I have to let her be a kid and a couple juice boxes every now and then makes her pretty happy!

I have never made either of my kids special “kid food”. Why would I cook myself and Dave something healthy and then put junk into their growing bodies? As a stay at home mom I know I am lucky to have the time to cook healthy for my family and I absolutely love doing it! I am not a perfect parent by any stretch, but I have complete control over what goes into their bodies so I do the best I know how to do. Alyssa asks for fruit or carrots for dessert sometimes so I think I’m doing pretty good forming healthy habits.

Week of Workouts

Standard

I had the most successful workout week I’ve had in a while. Ever since not working out for 2 weeks straight while Cassidy (and myself) were in the hospital early April, it has been hard to get back in the groove. I’ve been working out 1-2 times a week but the runs weren’t my best efforts, nor were my circuit workouts. However, since my day to day life is so active staying home with two little ones, swimming with them, chasing them, etc I didn’t worry about fewer formal workouts. However after this week of workouts, I have just felt amazing! Workout endorphins are a strong drug.

IMG_6438

How cute is my future runner? She climbed her little butt up there in 2 seconds flat. I snapped a quick picture since she was so stinkin’ cute before I took her down (the treadmill is not to be touched at all by my kids, even though I keep it turned off and the emergency button disconnected at all times). Cassidy isn’t the only one who was reacquainted with the treadmill. I got in a 40 minute workout early last week that included intervals of running 3/4 of a mile followed by walking 1/4 mile at 12.0 incline. I repeated until 40 minutes. It left me super sweaty and I followed it up with some abs exercises.

Workout number two of the week was with a new running group I joined for marine corps spouses. We are all moms so we are all pushing strollers. We did roughly a 3 mile run. I didn’t run fast nor did I run far, but it was a lot of fun and still a good workout. We end our runs at a park so all the kids got out and played for an hour or so after the run. Win win. The only problem is the runs just got moved from 930 to 830 am to account for summer temperatures. We just can not make it out of the house that early since Cassidy doesn’t wake up until 830 or later.

Workout number three of the week was killer, in a great way! On base, they have a new crossfit gym. 3 times a week they have a wives class run by a couple of marines. The Saturday morning class starts at 9 am so I had to put the kids to bed early in order to get out the door on time. The other 2 days start at 830 but I just really don’t think we can make it to those unfortunately. I absolutely loved the class! We started with a 400 meter warm up run and then 10 minutes of high knees, butt kicks, sprints, etc. Then we did the WOD (workout of the day). I forget what the workout was named but it went like this…

10 cleans

5 burpees

bear crawl across the room

10 situps

bear crawl back

It was done with a partner and we held a plank (front or side) while our partner completed the circuit then we switched. Repeat as many times as you can in 20 minutes. My partner and I did it 9 times through. That means for half of that 20 minutes I was holding a plank. So in 20 minutes I did 90 cleans, 45 burpees, 18 bear crawls across the gym, 90 situps, and 10 minutes of planks!

The top of my back and shoulder are killing me! Those bear crawls really did me in. Its just an exercise I don’t normally do so my muscles really felt it! And one of the best parts about the crossfit wives classes is that they have a playroom with a babysitter in there. They just ask you give the 16 year old girl $1 per child! So I got an awesome workout with childcare for 2 children for 2 bucks. Deal of the century! The marines also go through each move in the WOD before we do it to make sure our form is correct. And they are there shouting encouragement at us along the way as well. I can’t wait to go back!

I know some of you may think 3 workouts in a week isn’t much, but that is my “sweet spot” as far as working out goes. I like pushing myself hard a few times a week versus less intense workouts more times per week. My body just can’t handle intense workouts consecutive days in a row. So 3 awesome workouts in 1 week is perfect for my body and schedule!

Crossfit was an awesome way to start off our weekend. The rest of the weekend was spent going to the pool, church, and of course enjoying good food. We made a homemade meatloaf with parmesean millet, and green beans from my garden.

IMG_6445

Cassidy got to eat one of the two tiny zucchini we got before the squash borers ate my plants. I steamed it whole and it was perfectly baby portioned!

IMG_6448IMG_6450IMG_6451

And multiple batches of these single serving cookies (makes 2 cookies for 150 calories!) were consumed. I played with the recipe and they are amazing! I guess I should have just made a whole batch and eaten them throughout the weekend huh? But my problem is that if I have 2 dozen cookies sitting in my house, I will eat an entire dozen throughout the day. So if I only make 2 at a time, I can only eat 2 at a time. Recipe to come later this week!

IMG_6457

Last week was a success in the kitchen and on the fitness front. Feels great and I am ready to tackle another week! We have a busy one ahead for sure! I have a feeling it will be obsessing over planning the girls 1st and 4th birthday parties, even though its still 2 months away. I think we are going for a lollipop theme. We are having one set of parties in MD for both girls then a separate party here at home for Alyssa since she has her little friends she wants to celebrate with. Do you think its terribly lazy of me to just make both themes lollipops so I can reuse the decorations I make? Its just so tempting and easy sounding considering I am throwing 2 birthday parties within a couple weeks of each other.

Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread

Standard

If I want cake, I’ll eat some cake. But if I want something like banana bread, I’d like it to be healthy and actually have nutritional value to it. How did traditional banana bread, other quick breads, and muffins get the reputation of being healthy? An entire cup of sugar and an entire cup of oil? jeez! I might as well just eat a piece of cake and I’d probably even save myself some calories. Enter Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread.

IMG_6429

When I make banana bread, I like to be able to eat it as a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack. If it is going to make up an entire meal for me, like breakfast, it needs to pack some nutritional punch. This banana bread is made with 100% whole grain from both whole wheat flour and oats. I love baking with oats, it gives such a good texture and flavor. There is no added oil and very little sugar since most of the sweetness is derived from the bananas. The optional pecans add a good dose of healthy fats and protein.

IMG_6426

It comes out with a really nice “crust” which is my favorite part! The inside is moist from the bananas but the oats keep it from being gooey.

IMG_6425

We ate it for dessert Wednesday night, breakfast Thursday morning, and the last little bit for dessert on Thursday night. Yes, between Alyssa and myself, we ate the entire loaf in 24 hours. Dave didn’t even get a taste, that’s what happens when he works too much! Don’t worry I’m not really that mean. I bake things for him to take for work all the time, even lots of extras for him to share. Just not this time Smile.

2 larger slices made a great breakfast! It was much more filling and just as portable as a granola bar.

IMG_6430

Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread

makes 1 loaf (12 slices)

4 large over ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs (or 1 egg and 1/4 cup egg whites)

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans or chocolate chips (optional)

Mash the bananas well with a fork. Add eggs and mix. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients together then fold into the banana and egg.

Spray a loaf pan and pour all batter in. Cook at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. Since there is no oil, make sure you don’t overcook. The bananas however give plenty of moisture.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 127

Fat: 1 g

Sodium: 114 (5%)

Carbohydrates: 27 g

Fiber: 2 g

Sugars: 8 g

Protein: 3.4