Healthy body, healthy spirit, healthy mothering. This is the journey I have set out on with my two amazing children.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Study Break Snack Time

I have been crazy busy preparing for my 15 page paper on Gynecological and Obstetrical Practices in Tudor England.  Phew.  That is quite a mouthful.

And so was this nummy snack I made.  I have been steadily working my way through this stack of books trying to decide which six I will use for my research.  Most of them are written in Middle English.  Not exactly light reading.

So I was definitely ready to give my eyes a rest.  And believe it or not, all that reading made me pretty hungry.

Which leads to this delicious and nutritious late night snack.

I toasted some wheat bread.  Put just a little bit of tomatillo salsa (extra spicy) on the bread.  Top with some sliced avocado.  Salt and pepper it and add a few drops of hot sauce.

Oh.  My.  Gawd.  This was so good.  The salsa makes the bread just a little soft and the creaminess of the avocado cools down the spiciness of the hot sauce.  I have to remember this the next time I have an extra avocado laying around.  So good.  Anybody have any other quick, nutritious and yummy snack ideas?  After all, I still have another six weeks before this paper is due and that is a whole lot of late nights.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Summer Garden Yumminess

First of all a quick apology.  Almost 3 months and no post.  No excuses, I just haven't gotten around to it.  School is in full swing (95% on my first major Immunology exam-Woot! Woot!).  The car is sitting in a parking lot in a puddle of coolant.




Meanwhile, I am continuing to see a Nutritionist and a counselor in order to get my horrible food habits under control.  Along those lines, the kids and I are getting a lot of gorgeous produce from our community garden.

Pear tomatoes, zucchini, green bell peppers.  Yum!

Our garden bounty has led to some seriously yummy eats around here.  My first creation was going to be pasta with chicken sausage and peppers but at the last minute I decided to use up some potatoes I had laying around.  There is no recipe to go with this one I literally threw it all together with no plan at all.  Cooked the bite size sausage first (I used all-natural, no nitrates, free range chicken sausage).  Then the potatoes.  Then the bite size veggies.  Add sausage back into the pot and seasoned with oregano, salt & pepper and lots of garlic.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE garlic.

 Doesn't that look good?

Onions, peppers, tomatoes & zucchini all from my garden. 

We also made some bruschetta to go with it.  I did not make the bread (although I can when I have the time).  Rosemary and olive oil bread from Costco.  Yellow pear and other tomatoes from my garden with salt, pepper and fresh garlic.  I used pre-made pesto which is why I didn't add any olive oil to my maters.  We have made this at least 4x since this first day.  It is that good.

I am so very glad we decided to give the community garden a try.  It has been hard to get there to water and harvest now that school is our primary focus but it is so worth it.  I have even begun to teach myself how to can some of the extra tomatoes this year.

I hope you are getting to enjoy some delicious fresh produce while the weather is still good.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mini omelettes

Hi.  I am Momma.  I am addicted to Pinterest.

And it is amazing.  



I found this recipe for mini frittatas pinned and decided to give it a try.  

I have been looking for some simple ideas for breakfast for the kids and I.  These little guys were easy to make and they freeze well.  Now, I am calling them mini omelettes because for some reason my daughter has an aversion to frittatas.  Change the name and the kids entire attitude about them changes as well.  :)  

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly as it is written on the Disney Family Fun page except that I doubled the recipe.

  • 8 organic eggs
  • 1/2 C organic half and half 
  • 6 strips turkey bacon (baked in oven--no grease)
  • 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 1/4 C shredded organic baby carrots
  • 3 oz shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 tsp onion
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (I used 3/4 and it was VERY peppery)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder

Beat eggs, half and half and spices together.  Pour about 1/4 C into greased (or sprayed) muffin tins.  This made just enough for a 12 muffin tin.  Add veggies and turkey bacon to tins then top with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  

I calculated the calories and it comes out to only 111 calories per mini omelette.  Not too bad for a quick breakfast or snack that is packed with protein.  These tasted great while hot and I had 2 this morning for breakfast, reheated in microwave for 1 minute and they were still tasty.  I am planning to make some different versions of these, maybe a mexican style, veggie etc...  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pizza Casserole

I spent a little time browsing on Pinterest today.  After the kids and I spent 2 hours weeding and watering our little garden.  And I saw that one of my friends had pinned a recipe for a pizza casserole.  A casserole that was filled with three types of meat and two different cheeses.  It looked delicious.  It looked gooey.  It also looked so very unhealthy.

So I quickly headed to My Fitness Pal and entered the recipe exactly as it was given.  You will never guess how many calories are in one serving of this recipe.

Go ahead.

Take a guess.

You don't have to say it out loud.

1647 calories.  In ONE serving.  That is wrong.  So very wrong.

But by this point I was really craving a pizza casserole so I decided to make my own, healthier, veggie filled version.  It turned out pretty good.  By that, I mean, I liked it, the kids ate it with no complaining about the veggies (other than Kel searching for hidden mushrooms).  

  • 1 box Ronzoni's Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Penne 
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used Naturally Preferred Organic Italian Herb)
  • Pineapple (I used frozen-thawed in microwave but fresh or canned would work)
  • 1/2 package Uncured Italian Dry Salami (I thought I had pepperoni but this tasted great!)
  • 1 small onion, minced (my daughter won't eat it if she sees it so I mince, feel free to chop)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Frozen spinach, thawed and drained (fresh would work too)
  • 3/4 C cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the pasta until it's almost done (otherwise it gets squishy).  Meanwhile put a little sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  At this point I started chopping the onions and garlic.  I thawed the pineapple, salami and spinach in the microwave.  Once the pasta is done, drain it really well so your dish doesn't get too watery; between the pineapple and the thawed spinach you are already fighting against water so don't make it worse.  Be sure you drain these as best as you can.  I put the spinach into a towel (yes it stains) and squeeze it out but whatever method works best for you.  Add the onion, garlic and spinach to the sauce (it hides it better from the kids).  I was planning on straight up lying and telling them the green stuff was herbs from the sauce but they never asked.  I even left the jar on the counter so they could see that it had no spinach or mushrooms or onions in it.

Ready for kid inspection.

The rest is simple.  Layer sauce, then pasta, then meat and pineapple and then some cheese.  I used 1/2 the package of salami which isn't a lot so I ripped the meat into smaller pieces which makes it go so much further.  Repeat until you are out of ingredients.  Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes at 350.  

Ready to go in the oven.

My kids ate this with some corn on the cob that we had leftover while I had some tossed baby spinach and cherry tomatoes.   And the best part of this recipe?  I was able to cut the calories down to 565.  That is still high, but it is loaded with veggies (green, yellow, white and red if you follow the eat the rainbow theory) and it is quite filling.  

Just enough melty cheese to satisfy but not so much as to cause a heart attack.  :)

So good.  Paper plates = no dishes.  Even better.  

Plus, if you are weeding (squatting, constantly moving up and down, pulling, using the hoe etc...) you can burn up to 500 calories per hour.  Now, as long as I don't go back for seconds later on tonight I will still be 255 calories under my max goal (set by my nutritionist).          

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It took a village

My family is my village.  Mom has been in town for a few weeks waiting for one of the sisters to have her baby (she did btw- a beautiful 7 lb 12 oz little girl).  Another sis & her husband came over with their gorgeous 6 month old son.  My kids were home and we got to work.  Mom spent all day, scrubbing and reorganizing my entire kitchen.  It actually shines.

The sis headed for the basement and I now have a floor.  The kids' desks are organized and ready to be used.

The bro-in-law and my son headed upstairs, pulled the old toilet out of the bathroom and installed the new, pretty, low-flow one somebody gave to me.  He also hung up my sunflowers picture which I have had sitting around for almost 3 years.  

As for me?  I sat on the couch and my little sis just kept bringing me papers to go through. Boxes and boxes of paperwork was sorted through, organized, filed, recycled or shredded.  There must have been 4 full copy paper size boxes.  It was awful.  Freaking awful.  But it is done.  And it is gorgeous.

And it would never have happened without me swallowing my pride and asking my village to come and help me dig my way out of what was quickly becoming an upcoming episode of Hoarders.

Shelves are no longer overflowing with paperwork.

I didn't even realize they hung this up.

:)  Just sayin'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sick Day

You may have noticed that I don't get to post on here very often.  Senior year is kicking my butt.  I am taking 15 credit hours of a very heavy science load, working 20 hours a week and both kids have busy schedules.  Neva has karate 2-3 times a week and softball 3 times a week although I only get to attend practices on Friday nights thanks to my crazy schedule.

So why do I get to post today you may be wondering?

Only because I have been up since 3 a.m. (it is now 8) with a very sick little boy.  He has already vomited nine times.

Nine.  Freaking.  Times.

I emailed my professor, Endocrinology lab TA, nutritionist and writing partner to let them know about my very sudden change in plans.  Now the boy is laying on the couch moaning (literally moaning baaaabaaaabaaamaaaaalaaaaaaalaallalalalalaa) in his typical smart aleck way while sipping on a coke and watching some television.  The daughter got up and got herself out the door thankfully able to catch a ride to school with a friend.

As for me?  I'm about to crash out on this couch and try to get a little rest.  Maybe I'll throw a little something into the crock pot before I do. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

German Sausage Potato Soup

It's been pretty darn cold around here.  Last week we got about 16 inches of snow in a day and a half.  It has continued to snow off and on giving us another 6 inches through the week.  The temperature doesn't seem to want to get above 25.  What does all of this mean?

It was time to make a big ol' pot of potato soup, that's what it means.

I also happened to have some homemade German Sausage that my MIL gave me.  So, putting these two delicious foods together I decided to make the soup for the week a German Sausage Potato Soup.

As always, I used my crock pot.

  • 5 potatoes, peeled and diced  If you have organic potatoes, you should leave the skin on.  Lots of nutrients.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Combo of water and turkey stock to cover.  You could use veggie or chicken stock or broth too.  I just happened to have homemade turkey stock from Thanksgiving in the freezer.  
  • Sausage, casing removed.  I used an uncooked sausage but I'm sure any kind would work.  Brown it if its pre-cooked it tastes so much better that way.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Veggies I added some frozen spinach and green beans but add whatever kind you like.
  • Salt & pepper to taste
I crumbled the sausage and cooked it over medium-low heat.  No need to use oil when browning sausage.  Once the sausage is no longer pink, add onions and cook for a couple minutes more until they soften.  Add minced garlic and cook for another minute or two.  Drain this mixture to get rid of any excess fat from the meat.  Add all of the ingredients except the veggies into the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.  Now, I live at a pretty high altitude so things take a bit longer to cook.  Just cook your soup according to your crock pot settings (mine doesn't have hi or low, just time increments).  

I didn't want to make this a cheesy, thick or cream-filled potato soup but I did want some creaminess so I decided to simply stir in a small spoonful of plain non-fat Greek yogurt into the bowl.  So creamy and yummy.  Greek yogurt is packed with protein (2.8 grams/oz) and unlike cheese has no cholesterol.   I forgot to take pictures, I was too busy inhaling but this is what it looks like without the yogurt.


Ok.  Now time for a confession.  I had planned on having this for dinner that night but the darn potatoes weren't cooked all the way through when it came time for dinner.  Boo.  So I let it keep cooking and we ordered take-out.  

Letting it sit in the fridge over night did not hurt the flavor at all.  It probably enhanced it.  I have been eating this soup for lunch for 4 days and am still not tired of it.  Make yourself a loaf of crusty bread (or buy it--no judgement here) and enjoy.       

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

'Fraidy Cat

It's the start of a new year.  Fresh start.  Clean slate.  And all that jazz.  I don't do resolutions.  I figure that's just setting myself up to fail.  I have failed at enough and don't really see the need to go out of my way to do it.

I'm not really afraid of a lot of things.  And I mean things literally.  The things that are typical phobias.  Bugs, clowns, water, dogs.  Spiders can freak me out if they catch me off guard, like crawling under my sheets or dropping down on to me.  Clowns?  I'm not really a fan but I can keep from a panic attack when at a circus.  Water?  I don't like the idea of being in the water where an eating machine could get me but I'm fine with the actual water.  But for the most part?  I am ok with things.  A few movies might get to me and I'll want to sleep with the lights on, but I don't.

So what do I fear in this life?  I am afraid of wasting my time.  I've done that enough.  I'm afraid I'll completely screw my kids up.  They deserve so much better than I can give them.

I don't fear things.  I fear the results of my choices.