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:
Announcement
Week 21, Hawaii
Week 30, Shower, Puerto Rico

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

Mexicali Hamburger Casserole

When the queasiness sets in at night the last thing I feel like doing is cooking up a storm.  Because of this, casseroles have been a great solution.  I can whip them up in the morning or days before and reheat at dinnertime. 

Mexicali Hamburger Casserole
adapted from Better Homes and Garden
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef (I use Wallace Farms)
1 can (15oz) Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
1/2 C plus 2 T finely shredded 2% Mexican-style cheese, blend divided
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1 T sugar
1 1/4 baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 C skim milk
2 T canola oil
Instructions:
Heat oven to 350F.  In a 12inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until brown; drain off fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes and corn; heat through.  Transfer to greased 2qt baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/2C of the cheese. 
For the corn bread topping, in a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Stir in egg, milk and oil.  Spread evenly over beef mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered for 30+ minutes, until topping is set.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve with sliced avocado, salsa, or Greek yogurt as sour cream. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

Taco Night!

Taco night is a popular night in most households.  For mom, it’s an easy dinner to whip up. For kids, it’s fun to create your own meal and eat with your fingers!  There are a few things that can help turn your regular taco night into a “healthified” taco night.

Taco tips:
-Choose whole grain tortillas: I like Stacey’s organics @ Gateway Market or Trader Joe’s has some nice varieties. 
-Ground beef: good-93%, better-96%, best-grass fed ground beef (I buy from Wallace Farms)
-Choose 2% cheese or better yet omit all together
-Make your own refried beans by mashing up black beans
-Salsa is a wonderful condiment so nothing to change there however you can use fresh tomatoes for a low sodium option
-Diced avocado for a healthy fat addition

Enjoy!
What is your favorite item to top a taco with? J would say Cholula!

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

Nacho Casserole

this may not sound like a healthy recipe but with a few healthified options these nachos are packed with fiber rich beans, protein packed chicken breasts, antioxidant bursting tomatoes (salsa), calcium loaded cheese, and oh-so-good for you fats from avocado

Nacho Casserole

Ingredients:

6 ounces baked tortilla chips (I uses less to healthify OR you can make your own)

2 C cooked shredded chicken

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 C jarred salsa (my mom used 1/2 C salsa and 1 C spaghetti sauce)

1 C 2% shredded Mexican cheese

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)

I added green bell peppers slices for more veggies!

avocado slices (optional, but add some great healthy fats!

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350F. Line bottom and sides of 13x9x2 baking dish with chips. Scatter chicken and beans over the chips. Spoon salsa over the beans and top with cheese and scallions. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve!

Nutrition per serving (serves 6): 282 calories, 6g fat, 19g protein, 37g carbs

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Nesting – Casserole Mania

Nesting, pleaseeee…who said I was nesting!?

ok…judging by the stack of casseroles now in my freezer, I would say I had a little “food nesting” the other weekend.
I just decided it would be nice to designate a few hours one Sunday to preparing 4 wholesome, healthy casseroles that would be easy for J and I to bake up after the baby arrives (any day now).
After preparing them, I thought to myself…why not do this more often (Super Sized Sundays as I like to call them)…make your master list, head to store, cook up a storm, make one giant mess, package up, clean up, freeze, and viola….you have great meals for the month to come! This is great for those that have on the go schedules.
Grass Fed Beef Lasagna (click for recipe)

Chicken Enchiladas packed with veggies
(click for recipe)

BBQ Chicken Casserole – recipe to come

Chicken & Biscuit Pot Pie – recipe below

recipe from Ellie Krieger (dietitian) on Food Network
watch a video of the chicken pot pie preparation here
Ingredients
For the filling:
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
For the biscuit crust:
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
Instructions:
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large shallow casserole dish, or 6 individual casserole dishes with cooking spray.
Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken with its juices to a bowl. .
Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the same pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the green beans, garlic and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 2 minute more. Add the milk. Stir the flour into the broth until it is completely dissolved and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken with its juices back to the pan. Add the peas and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish or individual dishes.
To make the crust: Put the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, or until pebble sized pieces are formed.
Add the buttermilk then oil to the food processor and pulse until just moistened. Do not over mix. Drop the batter in 6 mounds on top of the chicken mixture (1 mound on each individual dish, if using) spreading the batter out slightly. Bake until filling is bubbling and the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Nutritional analysis per serving
Calories 400
Total Fat 17 g
(Sat Fat 5.7 g, Mono Fat 7.7 g, Poly Fat 2.7 g)
Protein 31 g
Carb 31 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 82 mg
Sodium 600 mg

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

Quesadillas

Update your traditional quesadilla recipe with these “healthified” changes
Tortilla – use whole wheat tortillas. Check ingredients…..NOT a brand with enriched wheat flour and NOT a brand with partially hydrogenated oils.
My favorite brand is

Cheese – Choose a reduced fat variety. I go with 2%. Opt for shredded instead of block cheeses as you tend to use less.

Beans – Choose to make this a vegetarian meals by using black beans instead of ground beef. You can puree the beans for a creamier addition.

Greek yogurt – instead of sour cream. Greek yogurt has less fat and calories and more protein! I choose Fage 0%.

Salsa – load up, great veggie source.

Sara B News: 24 Day Challenge informational meeting November 17th @ 7pm in Iowa City and November 22nd @ 7pm in Waukee. Ask me about details. Come enjoy samples and get all your questions answered. Lose 10lbs by Christmas….what are you waiting for!?
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good