Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mini Hiatus


You can probably guess what I’m about to tell you but just in case you’re wondering, I have decided to take a little hiatus from blogging. This makes me sad. Very sad! 😦 But, I have high hopes that I’ll come back a stronger, better chef and writer!

Here is {part of} the reason I’m taking a break

She needs me. No, wait, let’s be honest, I just want more time with her!

But really, with school, a needy baby and a sweet husband that I want to spend time with, I just don’t have time to blog these days. But, in just a couple months, Ellie Grace will have less Dr.’s appointments and mommy will have NO class so we will be good to go! I. can’t. wait!!!

The good news is that I’m going to keep cooking so I will have SO much to blog about later! Just last week, I made homemade pesto pizza, balsamic roasted carrots and polenta. Oh my! I also bought catfish to cook. Can’t wait to try out that recipe and to share it with you guys later!

Thanks so much to anyone who has been reading. I can’t wait to be back to writing soon. And, I’m planning to incorporate more baking into my days this summer. It’s gonna be awesome!

In the mean time, please send me any ideas for delicious, healthy meals!

Happy Cooking!

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Spaghetti {Squash}


This is one of my favorite ways to sneak a veggie into our meal! And, it’s SO easy! I took the super duper easy route and didn’t make homemade sauce this week. In a perfect world, I’d have it with my Mimi’s spaghetti sauce but I didn’t have Mimi, any of her sauce in our freezer or her delicious ‘secret’ recipe. So, we went with a good ‘ol jar of sauce and added ground turkey meat to it. Not too shabby. And, quick prep work which is always a plus ;). Trey even likes this meal. A LOT!

The only ingredient for today is a spaghetti squash. You’re on your own for the sauce…until I get brave enough to make and write about a sauce.

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, place face down on a baking sheet (rind facing up) and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender. I cook until I can pierce it with a knife. Then scoop out the ‘noodles’ with two forks. Add sauce and enjoy!

Baby Food–Sweet Potatoes and Acorn Squash


Someone got to try ‘real’ food.

And liked it!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a little healthy foodie on our hands.

I don’t think I have too many new mom readers but, if you’re still reading at this point, I guess you’re interested in how I recently made baby food. Or you just think my daughter is cute. I’ll take that ;).

Let me start by saying that I’ve been eating baby food for the past couple of days. Yep, that’s right. I’ve been sneaking bites of Ellie Grace’s acorn squash–just baby bites, I promise. You see, I bought an acorn squash thinking I’d split it with her but then decided to go ahead and freeze leftovers instead. So, I guess I’m just splitting it with her as she goes through it. Ha!

Last spring, I was in a nutrition lab where we had to taste baby food and I was mortified by the thought of that. Now, I’m eating it voluntarily!? What’s going on? Fresh tastes SO much better than the canned food we were forced to eat…I’ll stand by that!

Pictures first!

Now for the easiest recipes ever!

Sweet Potatoes:

–1 large sweet potato

–water (I didn’t measure the amount…sorry!)

Directions: Bake sweet potato at 400 degrees F for about an hour and ten minutes or until tender. Peel the potato and cut into about 10 pieces. Blend in food processor with water until smooth. For thicker potatoes, use less water.

Acorn Squash:

–1 acorn squash

–water (again, didn’t measure)

Directions: Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and lay halves on baking sheet with the skin facing out. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until tender. Scrape squash off of skin with a spoon and blend in food processor with desired amount of water.

I froze leftovers in ice trays. I filled an entire ice tray full of each. Easy Breezy, Mamas! Lemme know if you try it!

Black Bean and Couscous Salad


I’ve had some Israeli couscous in the pantry for a while now so I finally decided to use it. If you’ve never made Israeli couscous, you should definitely try it. The couscous pieces are much larger than regular couscous. And, by the way, did you know that couscous is considered a pasta, not a grain. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that but it’s true ;). That seems to be a common question people have. If you can prove me wrong, please do. I’m generally not a huge fan of pasta because I don’t like the slimy texture. I do, however, love the texture of couscous. We went the healthy route and used whole wheat.
I initially thought of making a hot bean and couscous salad but we liked this better cold! And, of course, we had plenty leftover.
Ingredients:
–1 cup uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous
–1 1/4 cups chicken broth
–2 Tbsp olive oil
–juice from 1 lime
–1 tsp red wine vinegar
–1/2 tsp ground cumin
–2 cloves garlic, minced
–1 yellow onion, chopped
–1 red bell pepper, chopped
–1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
–1 can (15 ounce) of corn (or use fresh if you have time!)
–1 can (15 ounce) of black beans, drained
–salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Stir gently and let simmer for about 8 minutes or until couscous is almost ready. Then, remove from heat. Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell pepper and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. Fluff couscous and add veggies and the rest of the ingredients to the couscous mixture and stir and enjoy. Or, refrigerate for later!
Let me know what you think!
I also embarked on my first journey of making baby food! I was SO intimidated by the thought of making it but it was SO easy. I might blog about it for you mamas who are afraid to make it ;). Sweet potatoes were on the menu for my little cutie last night. She LOVED them. I’m so proud of my good little eater.
Feed ME!

Fruit Skewers and Yogurt Dip


On Sunday, we went to a Super Bowl party with a bunch of our dear friends. Everyone was instructed to bring a little something to eat. Per usual, I went with a healthy party treat and, per usual, we came home with almost-empty tupperware. We loved this yogurt dip. If you take it to a party, I recommend putting on a plate WITH the fruit. I think some people thought this was ranch or some kind of strange chip dip. So, the little that was leftover, I’m attributing to the idea that people didn’t know what it was. And, I didn’t advertise it too much because guess who got to eat the leftover dip–with a spoon. straight. up. Mmmm!

This dip is great with pretty much any fruit so go crazy with your own fruit ideas!

Yogurt Dip Ingredients:

–2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

–1 Tbsp sugar

–1 Tbsp Honey

–1 tsp cinnamon

–1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together and serve! Easiest directions ever! 🙂

Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

There was one baby at this gathering so, someone got A LOT of attention! 🙂

Kale Salad


My cousin told me about this incredible salad over a year ago. After trying it at a dinner hosted by one of our good friends, well…the rest is history. We will definitely be eating this as a side ALL the time! I mean, raw kale, tasty? Do those words belong in the same sentence? This is a health nut’s dream come true. 🙂

So, I took the mommy-doesn’t-have much-time (and wants the least amount of dishes possible to clean) short cut to making this. Honestly, making it the original way doesn’t take that much longer but every second counts with my demanding baby so, I’ll give you the real recipe and keep you posted on my short cuts along the way. Sound good?

Mkay, Ingredients:

–1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces

–2 slices country bread (or whatever bread you have around in my case)

–1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (I bought mine shredded)

–1/2 clove garlic

–3 Tbsp olive oil

–juice from 1 lemon

–1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toast bread until golden brown. Break into small pieces and pulse in food processor (or if you don’t want to clean your food processor, break into tiny pieces directly over salad 😉 ). Whisk all ingredients except kale in a small bowl (or, to save time, just throw it all on top of the kale). Pour over kale and add bread crumbs, if haven’t already. Stir and serve.

Source: 101 cookbooks.com

We enjoyed this salad with this pork last week!

The next day, I had leftover kale and no time to run to the store. So, we had the same salad but used shredded cheddar cheese (rather than Parmesan) and 1/2 a grapefruit + 1/2 lemon for juice (rather than just one lemon). It was pretty darn good too!

Blueberry Balsamic Pork Loin


I made some delicious pork loin with kale salad and this butternut squash for dinner last night. I’ll post about the kale salad in the near future!

Baby girl took a LONG 4 hour nap yesterday. This has never happened. I didn’t know what to do with myself! So, in between checking on her every 5 minutes (yes, I’m serious!), I threw together this fab meal ;). By the way, this means I checked on my kid 48 times while she napped. Wow, am I ridiculous or what!? Good thing our house is small! Maybe a video monitor would be worth it after all. And, I know I sound crazy but the sweet little thing just started sleeping on her tummy and it’s making me a little uneasy to say the least.

Soooo, onto that pork!

Although the pork wasn’t the most beautiful looking dish in the world, it was tasty! And SWEET. And SO quick and easy as far as prep work goes!

Trey threw this meal on his ongoing ‘favorites’ list. So, it’s that good :). I told him that I labored over it for hours–my typical response when he says I cooked something incredible. Teehee ;).

Here are the Ingredients:

–1 pork loin

–4 Tbsp blueberry juice (I used blueberry pomegranate)

–1 Tbsp olive oil (plus additional for cooking the pork)

–2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

–1 Tbsp honey

–1 Tbsp brown sugar

–2 cloves garlic, minced

–pinch of salt and pepper (for both sauce and directly on pork loin)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking dish, drizzle pork loin with olive oil and put a pinch of salt and pepper on the loin. I also put a little olive oil directly on the baking dish so the pork wouldn’t stick. Bake pork for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked all the way through (if using a thermometer, make sure pork cooks to 150 degrees F). Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth. When pork is done cooking, slice into thin pieces, top with sauce and serve. See, it’s that easy!