Monthly Archives: January 2013

My Recent Food Obsession

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I am on a hardcore sweet potato kick lately. Well maybe its not a “kick” since its been ongoing for about 6 months now. I eat a sweet potato every. single. day. Sometimes two. I just can’t get enough. I scrub them well (I eat the skin), poke with holes, wrap in tin foil, then bake at 400 F for 60-90 minutes depending on the size. I like them really soft. I usually bake half a dozen every week and then reheat them for my lunches.

The toppings are where it gets creative. I have yet to make a combination that wasn’t amazing. Pretty much take any leftover and reheat it ontop of the sweet potato. A couple especially delicious ones have been a sweet potato topped with…

-leftover chili and shredded cheddar cheese

-sauteed cabbage and cottage cheese

-leftover chicken, broccoli, and greek yogurt

-leftover taco meat, lettuce, greek yogurt

-leftover BBQ chicken, cauliflower, and cottage cheese.

 

-And lastly, for breakfast…2 scrambled eggs, spinach, 1 piece crumbled bacon, sharp cheddar

Loaded Baked Sweet Potato:

1 sweet potato

3 oz cooked meat or beans

1/2 cup cooked vegetable

1/2 cup cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Just add the meat or bean and roasted veggie to the sliced open sweet potato. Reheat in microwave or oven until hot. Add the dairy after you heat everything else up.

Perfect meal of carbohydrates from the sweet potato, protein, veg, and fat from the dairy. I seriously look forward to lunches now every day because of this. It gives me that salty and sweet combination of flavors.

I served one to Dave one day and after a couple bites he said “wow this is amazing. I thought it was going to be disgusting”. It was the cabbage and cottage cheese version. Thanks for the vote of confidence Dave, but at least he quickly changed his mind after he tried it. So we will call this my what I ate wednesday and every other day of the week!

Must Meal Plan

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We had another great family filled weekend. Another little kid’s birthday party, Dave and I each got in good runs, and Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner. I think it was 8 adults, 3 preschool age kids, and 4 17-month olds. Of course I forgot to take pictures of any food I made, and I should have because I made a dip recipe I want to post. It was a spinach dip in a bread bowl, very healthified but you would never know it! Why people would ever make the mayo filled version is beyond me. I have a little of it left so I may see if i can make it look pretty enough tomorrow to take pictures and post it. We had spinach dip in a bread bowl with carrots and celery for dipping, grilled chicken, old bay steamed shrimp, salad with feta, cucumber, and tomato, roasted sweet potatoes, homemade buttermilk bread, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate whoopie pies.

And this week we plan on having…

Dinners:

Leftover grilled chicken, brown rice, cauliflower

Turkey and vegetable lasagna with homemade spinach noodles

Turkey curry over brown rice

Chicken Marsala with homemade bread and salad

Blackened fish, sauteed cabbage, millet “risotto”

Leftovers of some one of the previous dinners

Superbowl party

Lunches will be one or a few of:

salad with leftover old bay shrimp

butternut squash soup

Greek yogurt with diced pears and honey

sweet potato topped with sauteed cabbage and cottage cheese (Amazing!)

Leftovers

Breakfasts:

Peanut butter and banana sandwiches on homemade buttermilk bread

Banana, chia, peanut butter oats (x3)

Eggs and toast (x2)

Greek yogurt waffles (same recipe but just in a waffle maker)

And now I am exhausted and forsee Cassidy waking in the middle of the night tonight. Right before she went to bed I discovered trush like white bumps on her tongue. I still wanted to get my meal plan made for the week though real quick so I didn’t try and start off my week unorganized and unprepared. Have I mentioned I am slightly OCD? Off to eat yet another whoopie pie and get in bed! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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My husbands favorite dessert is chocolate cake. My favorite food ever is cream cheese icing. These whoopie pies are the perfect marraige of the two. They are even in a nice handheld cookie shape so they are easier to take to parties and set out for a crowd. Or just set on the kitchen table for us to eat in one sitting.

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The recipe easily doubles or triples easily if you are making for a crowd.

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Chocolate Whoppie Pies with Cream Cheese Icing

makes 6

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (white whole wheat or regular)

1/4 cup sugar

scant 1/4 cup milk, skim or almond

2 Tbs + 1 tsp cocoa powder

2 Tbs plain yogurt

1 Tbs butter or coconut oil, melted

3 Tbs egg whites or 1 beaten egg

1/4 tsp baking soda

Icing:

3 oz cream cheese

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda together.

In a separate bowl mix butter, yogurt, milk, and egg.

Combine the two.

Spoon 12 circles onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

While the cakes are baking, combine the icing ingredients with a mixer, or fork together if you don’t want to dirty more dishes.

Take cakes out of oven and let cool 10 minutes before dividing icing evenly between 6 cakes. Top iced cakes with remaining 6 cakes to make the sandwich.

If you are making these the day before, I would use 3 Tbs of butter instead of 1 Tbs butter and 2 Tbs yogurt. But if you are eating these the same day, I honestly can’t tell the difference and yogurt is obviously much healthier!

And ever since getting my silpats, this dessert is even easier to make. Quick, healthy for a dessert, delicious…does it get any better?

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Nutritional information

Calories : 188

Fat: 5 g

Sodium: 158 mg (7%)

Carbohydrates: 34.3 g

Total Carbohydrates

Dietary Fiber: 1 g

Sugars: 24 g

Protein : 4 g

Ginger Chicken Lo Mein Recipe

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Does anyone else always get incredibly stuffed after eating Chinese food just to be starving again an hour later? I don’t get it. I guess it just goes to show the quality, or lack there of, of the ingredients used. We have not had chinese take out in 2 1/2 years, ever since we found out Alyssa had a tree nut allergy. Its not a food we ate often but I still missed it. But now I can honestly say that after making my own fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, stir fry sauce, and now ginger lo mein, I no long have any desire to eat the take out versions!

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I received bok choy in my vegetable delivery box last week and decided lo mein would be perfect. I’ve had organic whole wheat lo mein noodles sitting in my cabinet, so it worked out well. After taking the first bite Dave declared it worthy of repeating. I hadn’t planned on posting the recipe to the blog since I kind of just threw things together but I went and got my camera and a pen and paper. I took a picture of his and Alyssa’s plates and wrote down exactly what I did before I forgot.

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Healthy, quick, delicious Chinese food…its rare to find!

Ginger Chicken Lo Mein

serves 4

1/4 cup chicken broth

1.5 lbs chicken

1 large bunch bok choy

8 oz mushrooms

1 can bean sprouts, drained

6 oz lo mein noodles or linguini

For the sauce:

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tsp corn starch

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sugar

freshly cracked pepper

Add chicken broth to large skillet or wok and turn on medium heat.

Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces. Chop the bok choy (white and green parts) and mushrooms. Add all to the chicken broth and cook until vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked through, roughly 10-15 minutes.

Cook lo mein noodles or pasta according to directions. Cook al dente since it will cook a little more once added to the wok.

Mix all sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Once the chicken/veggie mixture is cooked, add the drained pasta, bean sprouts, and sauce to the wok. Stir often and cook until sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.

Cover and let sit for a couple minutes for the sauce to gel and really soak into everything.

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There isn’t a single chinese take out restaurant dish that can compare to these nutritional stats either. Its even relatively low in sodium.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 504

fat: 10 g

Sodium: 768 mg (32%)

Carbs: 36 g

Dietary fiber: 2 g

Sugar: 2.5 g

Protein: 64 g

The End of a Baby Stage

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This weekend marked a milestone in Cassidy’s life.

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She started potty training which means she isn’t a little baby anymore! Yes, she just turned 17 months a couple days ago, but she is ready. If she can follow simple commands like “go get Mommy the baby” she can follow simple commands like “go peepee on the potty”. You ask her where she is supposed to go potty and she points to it and she cheers every time Alyssa or I go. Alyssa was potty trained at the same age. The only problem we had was finding underwear for their tiny butts! She gets so excited when she goes on the toilet and has been pretty good about going to get on it by herself when she has to go. Given we are only 1 1/2 days in but she started off with a bang and went 5 times on Saturday. She was dry Sunday until church at noon but she even went on the public toilet at a birthday party in the afternoon. We are no where close to being fully potty trained but shes on her way! Its going to be a long couple weeks until she has it down and is ready for underwear full time but its worth it. It is sad for me that she’s not a little baby anymore, but not sad enough to want to keep washing cloth diapers!

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There has been lots of naked time around here this weekend. We still need to teach her how to pull down her own pants. So for now, naked is easier.

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So my weekend mostly consisted of potty training, as will the next few I’m sure. But I still had some time to make a meal plan for the week. My vegetable delivery box will come in extra handy this week as it allows me more time at home and less outings. Potty training really does require lots of at home naked time.

On Tuesday, this should arrive at my doorstep…

2 – Organic Bosc Pears 3 Count
1 – Organic Avocado 2 Count/s
1 – Organic Gala Apples 2 Count/s
1 – Organic White Mushrooms 8 Ounces
1 – Organic Green Pepper 2 Count/s
1 – Organic Whole Carrots 1 Pound/s
2 – NC Sweet Potatoes 2 Pound/s
1 – Organic Red Leaf Lettuce 1 Head
1 – NC Organic Green Cabbage 1 Count/s
1 – NC Organic Purple Top Turnips 1 Pound
1 – Organic Butternut Squash 2 Pound/s
1 – Organic Lemon 2 Count/s

Based around these fruits and veggies, my greens from the garden, and a few frozen, my week should look something like this…

Dinners:

Grass fed beef burgers on homemade rolls, baked potato wedges, peas

whole roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, and cabbage slow cooker meal

Mexican chicken bowls with brown rice, avocado, cheese, lettuce, and corn

Lemon Pepper flounder, turnips (not sure how to cook these), salad

Grilled chicken, roasted butternut squash mac n cheese, salad

Ham, beans, and greens soup (that I never made last week since we had more leftovers to eat than anticipated)

A get together with a bunch of friends at our house on Sunday…no clue what we are cooking still!

Breakfasts:

Steel cut oats with banana, chai seeds, and peanut butter x 2

Banana bread with a hard boiled egg or two on the side

Apple Omelets

Chicken sausage, egg, and cheddar on English Muffins

Greek Yogurt pancakes/waffles

Plain greek yogurt with almond granola

Lunches are always a mishmosh of leftovers, salads, yogurt, hummus and veggies, fruit, almonds and raisins, etc. I think I am going to make some chickpea burgers though one day because I’ve been craving them for some reason.

Does anyone have other breakfast ideas?? Since giving up processed cereals, I have gotten much more creative but I am still looking to expand my healthy breakfast options.

And does anyone know how to cook turnips? I assume I can just toss in olive oil and garlic salt and roast them like other root vegetables?

Apple Omelet Recipe

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Ever since I stopped eating processed breakfast cereals, I have had to get much more creative in the breakfast department. I still prefer sweeter breakfasts that include a decent amount of carbohydrate over salty or savory. Its best to get more carbs in the beginning of the day so your body has all day to burn them. I  also make most of my breakfasts the night before so they must be able to reheat well or taste good eaten cold. The apple omelet I ate this morning satisfied all of my breakfast criteria. It tasted great cold and reheated, had carbs and protein and fat, whole grain, and totally unprocessed. It was slightly sweet and had whole wheat flour to satisfy me but still 3 eggs to satisfy my egg loving husband.

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Don’t let my less than stellar photography skills deter you! My crazy haired baby sure approved as she ran around double fisting!

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Apple Omelet

serves 1

3 eggs

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup milk (almond, skim, or whole)

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 small apple

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Preheat oven to 375 F.

whisk eggs with milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Dice apple into tiny pieces. I leave the skin on, that’s where the majority of the nutrients and fiber are.

Combine egg and flour mixture. Stir in diced apples.

Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray or coat with coconut oil and pour batter in.

Cook at 375 F for 18-20 minutes.

Variations:

Lighter version: 1 egg and 2 egg whites instead of 3 eggs and only 3 Tbs flour.

Paleo: substitute 3 tbs almond flour for the whole wheat flour, use almond milk, and omit the sugar.

HIgher fat (for the kid’s growing brains): 1 egg and 2 egg yolks. I split it between the two girls.

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I have also doubled and tripled the recipe when making it for the whole family. Just use a larger baking dish like a 13 x 9 or two separate ones.

Its a great balanced combination of carbs, protein, fiber, and fats to satisfy and keep you full.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 459

Fat: 13.5

Sodium: 212 mg (9%)

Carbohydrates: 64 g

Dietary Fiber: 6 g

Sugars: 31 g (23 of those from fruit)

Protein: 22 g

The lighter version brings it to 336 calories, 4.6 g fat, 57 g carbs, and 18 g protein.

This will be a new regular in the breakfast circulation for sure!

Back to Normal

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The last couple weeks since Dave returned home has been busy, in the best way! He got home the week before Christmas then had to work until Christmas Eve Eve. He took his Gmat the saturday before Christmas too (and rocked it!). We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner and church service on the 24th. We were traveling to MD to spend some time with my family early the 27th, so we wanted time to eat all the leftovers. Christmas day was amazing of course. My girls are the perfect ages for Christmas. We made sure to try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Alyssa knew the story of Jesus and his birth and that Christmas is about spending time with your family and friends. She obviously was excited about Santa and presents, but we tried not to make that the main focus.

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Each kid got 2 presents from Santa and a stocking plus 2 more presents from me and Dave. They had plenty under the tree to make their eyes light up. I don’t see the need to get them 20 presents each especially when they don’t need a single thing truthfully, you should see our playroom! We have had to start a “one in, one out” toy policy because its maxed out, and it’s a big room. Plus all of their Grandparents spoil the heck out of them!

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Dave received my latest crocheting project, a beard hat. I made 4 of them for presents this year and they were a hit!

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On the 27th we went to MD for 6 days, returning home late on the 1st. We got a couple nice date nights thanks to my mom and my dad and stepmom. We were only home in NC for 1 day, to unpack and then repack because we were off to Disney world!

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We spent 4 days in Disney world and 1 day in Sea World. We stayed at a Disney resort and ate amazing dinners each night. We didn’t use the Disney meal plan. Instead we ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches in the room as we got ready each morning and I packed us lunches of turkey and swiss sandwiches with hummus, raw green beans and carrots, apples, granola bars, and string cheese.

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We are adventurous eaters so we wanted to try a variety of cuisines for nice dinners out. We had Greek, African, Norwegian, and authentic Mexican. All 4 were amazing! We stuffed ourselves silly each night (well, I did at least), but still found room for some dessert after we put the girls to bed. My mom came with us and stayed with the girls at night so Dave and I could have a couple more date nights. We had 9 months to make up for afterall!

The girls had a blast!

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Until a character tried to get anywhere near Cassidy…

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and I’m terrible because it made me laugh every time.

Finally on Saturday life was back to normal and it felt just as good as all the traveling and excitement. We made Greek yogurt pancakes and eggs in the morning, cleaned up a little, went to Lowes, made lunch, hung out while Cassidy napped, ate some homemade spaghetti and meatballs with broccoli for dinner, then headed out to a birthday party. It made it extra pleasant that it was 78 degrees out and we were in shorts! We have 5 little kid’s birthday parties to attend the rest of January, I am going to go broke!

After all the amazing Christmas food and Disney world eating, I was actually so happy to be back to home cooking. We stopped at a whole foods on the way home (we don’t have one close to us unfortunately) and stocked up. I also started up another vegetable and fruit box last week. Each week I pay $45 and get to fill my box with whatever I want from the list using my allotted points. This week on Tuesday I will get all this delivered to my doorstep:

1 lb raisins, 8 oz mushrooms, 1 lb green beans, 2 green peppers, 1 head cabbage, 4 lbs sweet potatoes, 1 head lettuce, 2 lbs butternut squash, 1 bunch bananas, 4 apples, and 6 tangelos.

All organic and about half of it is local.

This weeks meal plan will look something like this

Dinners:

Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread stuffing, green beans (Thanksgiving since Dave missed it)

Grilled fish, sautéed cabbage, quinoa risotto

Grilled chicken leg quarters, roasted sweet potatoes, leftover stuffing, salad

Pasta with grilled chicken and veggies in a homemade herbed cream cheese sauce

Homemade pizza topped with peppers and mushrooms

Ham and bean soup with greens from my garden

Thanksgiving leftovers one night

Breakfasts:

Turkey Sausage, Egg, and cheese sandwiches x 2

Banana Oatmeal with chai seeds and peanut butter x 3

Greek yogurt pancakes

Cranberry oatmeal scones

Lunches will be a combination of:

Butternut squash soup

dinner leftovers

Plain greek yogurt with cut up fruit

smoothies

salads

grilled cheese with fresh organic whole foods bread and organic sharp cheddar

Workouts were few and far between, maybe 5 total over 3 weeks. But we probably 50 miles walking in Disney over the 5 days. We did a killer circuit workout friday afternoon though and a 3.5 mile run outside with the double stroller on Sunday. The circuit left Dave and I sore all over the next day!