Baby S2 Update – Week 36 & Nesting

This is it…the final countdown…4 weeks to go for me and go time for my sister!
We both feel great and are getting anxious to meet the little ones squirming around inside us.

39 weeks & 35 weeks

And with the countdown….let the nesting begin!  On Sunday Kelli and I prepared 9 separate meals.  5 crockpot and 4 pans.  All will be frozen, so while we are busy with babies we have healthy and convenient meals.  The total cost comes to about $2.25 per serving and took 3.5 hours to prepare (not counting grocery shopping time).  Trust me….all is worth it! 

Start with cutting and prepping all veggies and set aside. Then move on to meat so there is no cross contamination. 

we’re done and dinner is ready for days to come!
Recipes for all the meals:
Meal 1-5
Frozen Crock Pot Meals – we made three of these recipes and combined into 5 meals
Meal 6
Turkey Lasagna
Meal 7
Chicken Enchiladas
Meal 8
Chicken Pot Pie
Meal 9
Veggie Mac & Cheese

week 25

week 30 & 34

Other Baby S2 blog posts:
Week 21, Hawaii
Week 30, Shower, Puerto Rico

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Pork Chops & Peaches

Using fresh, seasonal produce always brings out the best flavor!  This recipe can also be prepared with pears in the winter. 
Sweet Pork & Peaches

w/ goat cheese on quinoa
loosely adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

2 C chicken broth
1 C quinoa
olive oil cooking spray
4 4 oz boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of visible fat
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 ripe peaches, cored and chopped
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 T roasted silvered almonds
2 T crumbled goat cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium-high and mist with cooking spray.  Season both sides of pork with tarragon, salt, and pepper.  Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add peaches, vinegar and honey and stir to combine.  Cover skillet loosely with foil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches begin to break down and pork is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. 
Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with pork, peach mixture, goat cheese, almonds, and parsley. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Veggie Mac & Cheese

Veggie Mac & Cheese…would you expect my mac and cheese to be any other way!? You can now enjoy the goodness of the creamy classic without the packaged cheese dust and as a bonus, added veggies. 
I actually got this recipe while flipping through People Magazine…and who said those magazines are non-educational?!

Veggie Mac & Cheese
adapted from Bobby Deen’s recipe
2 C whole grain elbow macaroni
3/4 C 2% shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C skim milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 C reduced fat sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
1 T Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) bag of frozen peas, thawed (or as you can see in the picture, I used frozen brocoli, thawed and diced, the second time I made it)
1 C finely chopped cauliflower
1/4 C soft whole-wheat bread crumbs (I used whole wheat saltines)
optional: add a can or two of tuna, drained or cooked shredded chicken breast
Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare macaroni according to packaged directions.  Drain well and set aside.  Meanwhile, combine cheeses and next 8 ingredients into a bowl.  Combine with noodles in a casserole dish that is coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake for 30-35 minutes.  J like to top his with low-fat cottage cheese or hot sauce.
This can be made and frozen for a later date!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Raspberry & Brie Flatbreads

I served this recipe up as an appetizer for Happy Hour last Friday!

Raspberry & Brie Flatbreads
from Clean Eating Magazine
cooking spray
1-2 onions halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp rosemary leaves, chopped
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
14 oz store-bought whole wheat pizza dough, I used naan flatbread
3 1/2 oz brie, thinly sliced
1 1/2C raspberry, I used frozen
2 T basil leaves, chopped

Heat a large skillet on medium-low.  Coat with oil and add onions.  Stir occasionally untill onions are soft and golden, about 15 minutes.  Stir in rosemary and pepper.  Transfer mixture to blender.  Add 3 T of water and puree to form a chunky paste (this is your pizza sauce).  Spread onion sauce over top pizza/flatbread dough.  Leave a 1 inch border.  Top with brie slices and raspberries.  Bake pizza according to package directions (about 400-500F for 6-10 minutes).  Sprinkle with basil and serve!

Announcement: the whole month of October is FREE at Crossfit Des Moines.  Now is your chance to check it out and see what all the buzz is about.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

Mozzarella Pizza

Here is a perfect meal for Meatless Mondays!
Mozzarella Pizza


whole wheat pizza dough – I like Trader Joe’s dough in the cooler…yes you have to roll it out :), otherwise another whole wheat version is fine
large plum tomato, thinly sliced
sliced fresh basil (unlike my picture where I use whole leaves…sliced is easier to bite into)
slices of fresh mozzarella cheese(thin slices)

dried oregano
pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 450°F. If using dough, shape it into 6-8 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on pizza crust pan (spray if using dough).  Layer tomato/pizza sauce, tomatoes, cheese and basil evenly. Sprinkle with pepper and oregano. Bake at 450F for 10 minutes or until crust is golden.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Again, another “drooling after I read the title” recipe.  Talk about comfort food at its finest…cheese and pasta.  However, to keep this meal healthified, pile the veggies in, on and around.  Also, choose a nice lean protein as the main dish so the pasta is more like a side.  I choose grilled chicken. 

This recipe comes with a story….you will notice goat cheese in the ingredients which I was very excited to cook with as I never have.  I often times skip over “these ingredients” that I don’t know where to find in the grocery store. However, enough was enough, I love cheese and wanted some goat cheese.  So as Trey (6 months at the time) and I perused the aisles and I take my good ol’ time because as you imagine, I LOVE the grocery store, he decides to have a meltdown.  This occurs right before my favorite aisle…the produce and of course, fine cheeses.  I searched frantically for a toy and started making funny faces which seemed to bring joy to the shoppers around me but not to my son.  Finally, I find a bag of frozen corn in my cart and hand it to him…success!  Back to finding my goat cheese as I was determined to cook with it! 

ooey-gooey delish!

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells
w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
recipe from Clean Eating Magazine
3 C chopped tomatoes
12oz roasted red bell peppers
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 packed cup whole parsley sprigs, roughly chopped (I will admit, I forgot to buy parsley at the grocery store, need I remind you of Trey’s meltdown, so I used dried parsley)
4 ears corn (or frozen bag)
olive oil cooking spray
30 large whole grain pasta shells (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Grand Shells…really good and found in HyVee Health Market)

1 1/2 C low-fat ricotta cheese
2 T fresh mint, chopped
2 T chopped parsley leaved or chives, plus additional for garnish
1 large egg, lightly beaten
fresh ground black pepper
3 oz 2% mozzarella cheese, grated
Prepare sauce: in medium saucepan, combine tomatoes roasted red peppers, rosemary, oregano, rep pepper flakes and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a blender and ass parsley.  Remove plastic center from blender to let steam escape, hold a towel loosely over top to prevent splatter or just let sauce cool completely before blending.  BE CAREFUL as you will end up with explosive sauce if not!!!
Prepare shells: Preheat oven to 350F.  Cook shells according to package directions.  In large bowl combine ricotta and goat cheese, mint, parley, egg, and half of the frozen corn (11/2cups).  Season with black pepper.  Spread 1 C sauce on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Fill each shell with 1 rounded T ricotta cheese mixture and place in baking dish stuffed side up.  Cover shells with remaining sauce, corn and mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with parsley.  Enjoy!

option #2: if you can’t find the noodle shells you can use whole grain lasagna noodles and roll 1/4C of mixture into each.  Place is dish seam side down.  

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B