Monthly Archives: November 2012

Baked Chicken Nugget Recipe

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Alyssa came home with a preschool paper earlier this year and it was a drawing of her family. Next to each family member was a little blurb about us. She told her preschool teacher what to write. Next to my name it said something like “My mom cooks me really good chicken nuggets and french fries”. Her preschool teacher was probably thinking, ‘Another parent, feeding their kids crappy processed foods’. I so badly wanted to tell her that the only chicken nuggets she knows are chicken breast pieces cut up and baked and the only french fries she knows are french fry shaped roasted sweet potatoes. Oh well, at least the important part is that she is truly eating clean healthy foods. And as a mom, I look forward to eating “kid food” for dinner.

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Baked Chicken Nuggets:

serves 6

1.5 lbs chicken

1 egg, beaten

2 tbs milk

1 Tbs pickle juice (optional)

2-3 slices sprouted wheat bread

1/4 salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp italian seasoning

pepper to taste

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, roughly 1 inch squares. Mix beaten egg with milk and pickle juice. Let chicken marinate in egg for a couple hours or overnight. If you don’t have time to marinate then just continue on.

Mix together all dry ingredients.

Coat egg dredged chicken in dry mixture.

Space evenly on greased sheet or silpat. Spray tops of nuggets with more spray.

Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, stirring part way through. Turn to broil. Bake 5 more minutes, stirring part way to make sure they don’t burn. This will add a nice crust without having to fry them.

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Served with an extra side of veggies.  My children (Dave and I too) devour this meal and its so easy. Its not as easy as opening up a bag of fried precooked nuggets from the freezer, but its pretty close! Unless you double the batch and put half in the freezer for later…win win!

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Nutritional Information:

Calories: 228

Fat: 4.7 g

Sodium: 227 mg (9%)

Carbohydrates: 9 g

Fiber: 0.6 g

Sugars: 0.7 g

Protein: 35 g

Its Starting to Look a lot Like Christmas

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Alyssa has asked me quite a few times in the last week when we are going to get a christmas tree. Considering its still November and 70 degrees out I was trying to hold out a little longer. But she is at that age where she is just so excited about Christmas. She asks me every night if we can make cookies for Santa now. She wants to make our healthy banana cookies for him “since he has a big belly and doesn’t need too many unhealthy cookies”. She said if he gets cookies at everyones house, that is too many special treats for one night. I like her thinking. So before dinner tonight we satisfied her Christmas itch and went to pick out a tree!

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After dinner we kind of back peddled holidays and had some pumpkin pie for dessert.  I made a healthy version. It doesn’t have crust (I’m not a pie crust fan, neither is Dave) and has very little sugar. Just enough to satisfy the craving.

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Healthy pumpkin “pie” for 2

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup egg whites

2 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

mix all together. Pour between 2 sprayed ramekins. cook at 425 for 10 minutes then lower to 350 for 40 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 111

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 85 mg (4%)

Carbohydrates: 22 g

Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 17.5 g

Protein: 6.5 g

A Box is Better than a Toy

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We had a nice relaxing weekend of family time and getting stuff done around the house.

We put together our new grill over the weekend and of course the grill box was made into Alyssa’s “office”. She colored it and then she and Cassidy played in it all day Sunday. Why is it that kids love anything that is not a toy?

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I love that Cassidy is just a little pony tail sticking up in that picture.

We had a lazy day and did not change out of our pjs. Of course this is the day I decide to bring my camera back out of hiding.

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And Cassidy looks a little extra rough from the scabs all over her nose, lip, and forehead. Poor girl fell off one step off a friends deck and skidded her face. No bumps or bruises, and she barely cried. It looks way worse than it is and it makes her look so pathetic. But she clearly isn’t bothered!

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This left plenty of time for meal planning.

This weeks meal plan I am going easy and simple…I’m not feeling so motivated lately. I am going to include our breakfasts this time too. Lunch is usually a combination of yogurt, leftovers, salads, fruit, trail mix, etc and I never plan them out. But since giving up processed cereals, I have started making breakfast meal plans as well.

Sunday:

Breakfast: Chicken Sausage and Gravy with homemade biscuits and eggs

Dinner: Leftover meatloaf, broccoli, brown rice

Monday:

Breakfast: Banana bread

Dinner: Leftover turkey, garlic bread on homemade english muffins, steamed mixed vegetables

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Stovetop Old fashioned oats with mashed banana, ground flax, cinnamon, and homemade peanut butter

Dinner: Turkey tacos with 100% whole wheat tortillas, avocado, cheese, corn, and grilled peppers.

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Turkey sausage, egg, and cheese on homemade english muffins

Dinner: loaded baked potato vegetable soup

Thursday:

Breakfast: Pumpkin greek yogurt pancakes

Dinner: tilapia, roasted garlic dill potatoes, asparagus

Friday:

Breakfast: Stovetop Old fashioned oats with mashed banana, ground flax, cinnamon, and homemade peanut butter

Dinner: Blue cheese Burgers (on my new grill!), sweet potato fries, green beans

Saturday:

Breakfast: Yogurt and cranberry almond granola

Dinner: Leftover from one of the previous nights

I am glad to have all that planning out of the way. I really like to cook actually, it’s the deciding that I hate. Now I don’t have to think about it for another week!

My Little Ballerina

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Alyssa had her first ballet recital this weekend! She has been doing gymnastics since she was 1 1/2 but this year decided she wanted to try ballet. Well she actually wanted to do both, but we couldn’t handle preschool, soccer, ballet, and gymnastics. So she chose ballet and she really enjoys it. Although she does keep asking about doing gymnastics again too so I may see if I can do a summer camp or something.

Here she is, second from the left…and I apologize in advance for the horrible videographer skills. I was standing in the far back with Cassidy strapped into the Ergo on my back. So she was moving around a lot making me move. Also since i was all the way in the back,  i had to zoom way in which made every little move I made seem way bigger.

How cute is that?? I love her so dang much!

This is the first time she has ever been on stage and I thought she did great! She is not shy at all, but you never know how a kid will react when they get up on stage. She wanted to do it again once she came off. It was just a short little Christmas program so she only did a ballet number. In the Spring she will have a full recital with multiple dances. Oh and a 55 dollar costume to go along with it! It was pretty painful to write that check, especially since I sew and know I could make it for about 5 or 10. People always say babies are expensive but I didn’t find that at all. I breastfed for over a year, made my own baby food, and used cloth diapers. So my babies are pretty cheap actually. But now my preschooler is whats getting expensive! Its worth it though to see her up there in that cute little tutu and bun (not the 55 dollar costume, just a borrowed one for the day).

After her ballet recital we came home and meal planned for the week. Its going to be a delicious week over here, is it weird I get excited about food? Some weeks I am just so indecisive and can’t decide what meals to make. Other weeks, everything sounds good, like this week…

Monday- Homemade pasta with Italian meatballs and broccoli

Tuesday- Pan seared tilapia, sweet potato fries, Kale Chips (Alyssas request)

Wednesday- White Turkey Chili with pumpkin

Thursday- Thanksgiving. I am contributing this healthified Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Icing

Firday- Sweet and Sour Chicken over brown rice with broccoli (broccoli was on sale at the organic market!)

Saturday- Turkey and Lean Ground Beef meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes, salad.

I linked to some of the recipes. One of the reasons I started a blog was to keep track of my own recipes and I really do use them all the time to reference back to. Although I don’t necessarily always follow the same meal on the same day. If I get cooking tomorrow and want chili instead, then I’ll change it up. I just plan 7 meals for the week and eat whatever produce looks like it needs to be used up first or whatever meat is currently defrosted. I just try and get a little red meat for iron and 1 night of fish for omega 3s each week. The rest of the week is usually poultry or beans.

And now after typing up all these meals, I am hungry and want to eat a full meal at 1045 pm!

Treadmill Circuit Workout

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I have been getting bored with straight running lately. Especially inside on the treadmill when its a perfect 60 degrees outside to run in. But one of my best opportunities to workout is while Cassody naps unless I want to push a double stroller and that is starting to be more of an arm/shoulder workout than a run. I still run outside in the evenings but that means I am pushing almost 100 lbs including stroller and kids! I have been incorporating my treadmill into my circuit workouts to fight boredom. It helps get my heart rate up and makes me sweat more. And the sweatier the workout, the more accomplished I feel.

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REPEAT THREE TIMES

And of course my circuit has to be organized by numbers in some way. I could never do .75 miles, 50 plank knees, and 60 scissor kicks. There’s my OCD tendencies kicking in.  Even though for some reason I feel kind of goofy bear crawling across my living room. But every time i do it, my back is nice and sore the next day. I know I am not the only one who loves that feeling of being sore! It makes the workout seem totally worth it. It hurts so good!

My Family’s “Kid Meal”

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Tonight was a good night. I was being lazy so dinner took all of 10 minutes to make, it was still pretty healthy, and my kids were obsessed with it. For those of you that have kids you know that those times that dinner is gone within 5 minutes without a single complaint, is one of life’s simple pleasures. This is one of my lazy go to dinner combinations…

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Any leftover meat: chicken, meatloaf, etc

Any whole grain: leftover brown rice, homemade pasta from the freezer, quinoa

A can of green beans

Some sort of sauce (olive oil and lemon and Italian seasoning, marinara, white clam, or an ounce or two of cream cheese)

parmesan cheese for topping

Cook pasta if using it. Mix all together in a pot and heat. Done.

Its well balanced with whole grain, protein, and a vegetable. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what combination I do, my kids absolutely love it. I think it’s the canned green beans. It’s the only canned vegetable we eat and its like baby crack. We don’t use them too often, only when I’m feeling lazy. A couple weeks ago I opened a can at lunch. Alyssa got upset I let Cassidy eat some of them. I told her if she really wanted, I would open her up another can if she wanted more after she was done her lunch. She split the one can with Cassidy then requested another can. She ate the entire second can by herself and asked for another! I said no, but then thought maybe I should let her eat as many green beans as she wants? I didn’t know what to do. They are even the organic no salt added ones. Most  kids eat up mac and cheese and hot dogs, but this is our “kid food”, works for me!

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At least I put effort into actually using the stove for breakfast and lunch, my WIAW

Breakfast: pumpkin peanut butter oats and decaf coffee

Lunch: leftover chicken, spinach, and cheese omelet. Cottage cheese and pineapple. A couple pieces leftover pumpkin roll

Dinner: homemade fettuccini, green beans, more leftover chicken, with a little white clam sauce and parmesan cheese.

My dinner was so lazy because I have been working nonstop to finish making the girls some matching dresses with Ospreys smocked on them.

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My husband is a Marine Corps Osprey pilot and I made the dresses for an event we are going to in a couple weeks. I am so glad I finally finished them.

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Now that I should have a little more free time, maybe tomorrow I can make dinner that doesn’t include canned green beans. Although my kids will be disappointed for sure!

Bacon Ranch Cheeseball Recipe

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I never tasted a cheeseball until I met Dave. It must be a southern food. I instantly fell in love though, given my obsession with cream cheese. This recipe is always a hit, but what bacon recipe isnt? This is the easiest recipe to make and the best part is that its best if it sits in the fridge overnight so you can prepare it ahead of time. Make it 2 days in advance if your schedule demands it.

Bacon Ranch Cheeseball

16 servings

2 blocks (16 oz total) cream cheese (1/3 less fat is ok but not all fat free)

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided

6 slices bacon, divided

1/4 cup diced green onion

1 tsp worschire

1 Tbs ranch dressing mix

Let cream cheese sit out to soften.

Cook bacon until very crisp. Cool and crumble it into tiny pieces.

Add cream cheese, 2/3 of total bacon crumbles, ranch dressing, worschire sauce, and 1/3 cup sharp cheddar. Roll into a nice ball.

Mix together remaining bacon and cheese on top of a piece of saran wrap (cling wrap). Roll cream cheese ball into mixture to coat the outside.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight so the flavors blend together.

Serve with any type of cracker.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 134

Fat: 12.5 g

Sodium: 177 mg (7%)

Carbohydrates: 1 g

Protein: 4.4 g

This is a great appetizer, kids and adults love it. Now I need to make up for the 17 years before I met Dave, where cheeseball wasn’t in my life!