Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice + Weekly Menu

Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice 1

My heart is completely and totally torn right now. Do I want summer to continue…or am I ready for fall?

I can’t enjoy the jet ski that Mr. Prevention purchased so timely (NOT!) a few weeks ago. Pregnancy aside, the weather so far this weekend has been sauna-like…sans the sun. What the heck, weekend? Let’s keep the temps, shed some of the humidity, and puhhhlease, take the mosquitoes with you. My toes are begging you as they are littered with swollen, itchy skeeter bites and this 2 showers-a-day business really wears a woman out, let me tell ya.

Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice 2

This summer just seemed to FLY by. Next weekend is LABOR DAY, people. How did this happen?!

…How did I survive summer without melting into a puddle? I’ll never know, but there were a few close calls.

Thanks to the intolerable weather yesterday, we spent about 4 hours in Babies R Us. Sadly, that is no exaggeration. Mr. Prevention had gone back and forth on whether or not he was going to tag along and within an hour he was sorely regretting his decision. That said, I am feeling pretty prepared for baby Shea (and super impressed by my couponing skills). Not really prepared, because how you can you ever been 100% ready for a newborn, especially as a first time mom…but at least we have all the essentials. Now it not only looks like a pink bomb went off in the house, but there’s pack-n-plays and swings occupying what used to be nice, empty space that kept our home seeming fairly clutter-free.

That’s all in the past, I imagine.

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So with summer coming to a bittersweet end, it’s time to enjoy what summer has to offer. Like blueberries and local greens. In a really unique salad, that is, without a doubt, a little far-fetched…but soooo delicious (500 farmers market-goers tested and approved!).

Because next weekend starts college football. And my chili contest. And a 3 day weekend (!). And September…as in, the month before my due date making me very, very pregnant, very, very anxious to meet our little girl, and at the same time, very, very sad to see another Michigan summer come to an end. We tolerate the winters to savor the summer, guys. That’s no lie. So for a few most days, I’m soaking up summer.

Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice 4

Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
Salad:
  • 5 oz fresh arugula
  • ½ cup brown rice, prepared according to package directions and cooled
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 oz (about ¼ cup) blue cheese
  • 1 oz (about ¼ cup) slivered almonds, toasted
Dressing:
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (I used a blueberry balsamic)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the arugula, cooked brown rice, blueberries, and basil; toss well.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in a food blender, food prep, or cylindrical container to puree with an immersion blender; blend until smooth.
Notes
Dressing recipe makes 1 cup of dressing which will dress this salad x4 (1/4 cup per 5 ounces of arugula, basically). The nutrition information reflects the recipe's actual use, which is ¼ of the dressing recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 salad (1/2 salad recipe, ⅛ dressing recipe) Calories: 423 Fat: 20.5 Carbohydrates: 37.5 Sugar: 7.0 Sodium: 416 Fiber: 7.5 Protein: 10.5 Cholesterol: 13

I have a ton of tomatoes and basil, hence the pizza. I have lots of blueberries and grilled chicken from the freezer, hence the fruit & quinoa salad, as well as the blueberry pizza (have the goat cheese that needs to be used up, too!), flank steak in the freezer that is nearing the end of its freezer life expectancy, and 2 dozen farm fresh eggs that will be made into chilaquiles (along with homemade salsa using home grown tomatoes and jalapenos!). I’m a woman on a mission this week!

Weekly Menu: August 24th – 28th

 Be well,

sig4

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 1

I turned 29 last week. I don’t feel any older, but the fact that next year means the big 3-0 is a bit…ohhh, I don’t know the right word. Adult-ish, perhaps?

I called Mr. Prevention’s sweet grandma to thank her for my birthday card (which I found under a pile of crap and other unopened mail days after it had arrived). Inside the card was a check for my birthday which was very kind of her to send. As she and I were chatting on my way home from work yesterday, she said, “Yeah, I’m sure you’ll probably spend it on the baby…but try to get something nice for yourself, too.” …She must not know how much I excel in online shopping ;)

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 2

For my birthday, my family got me a Pandora bracelet with some cute charms – one was hockey and one was an “N” and one was a baby charm. So perfectly fitting :) I know I’m late to the Pandora game here, but charm bracelets seem so “mature” to me. I picture them in antique-y stores and boutiques with eclectic selections of patterned, flowy clothing. Feel free to roll your eyes at me or think, ‘Is she offer her rocker? What the h is she talking about?!’

And Mr. Prevention must’ve been desperate for birthday gift ideas for me because I received FIVE books on motherhood, etc (I’m not complaining…just giving him a hard time ;) ). And a sixth book showed up yesterday. Add that to my collection of the 3-4 I already had, and I will be one well-read, hopefully semi-prepared, freaked out mommy-to-be.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 3

With my big, mature life changes (baby due in 13 weeks, people!!) and my preparation for motherhood with my charm bracelet, I’ve relaxed a bit on my very domestic meal planning skills. I peruse Pinterest no less than every few hours, drooling over food, that it seems quite literally IMPOSSIBLE that meal planning has become more difficult over time. And next to all those baby books, my friends, are about 1.2 million cookbooks. Some of which have been opened all of…once. Such a shame.

I’ve decided that next week, I’m going for ethnic cuisine. I’m in need of flavor and fresh, new dishes that will pique my interest in food and cooking again. I reached a new low on Sunday night when I was too lazy to grocery shop for a prepare a side to serve with my king crab legs that I swung by KFC for mashed potatoes (don’t judge me, please! P.S. they were nasty!). I need more flavor in my life, like curry and coconut milk, for example. Mmmm….eeeenjoy!

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 4

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (Thai) basil leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised or juice of ½ lime
  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice, prepared according to package directions
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; scoop the cream at the top of the can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer in the skillet. Stir in curry paste and simmer, without stirring, until fragrant and coconut cream starts to release oil, about 3-5 minutes. Add the rest of coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and add sweet potato cubes. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and mango and cook until shrimp curls, about 3 minutes.
  3. Season with fish sauce, brown sugar, basil, and lime (leaves); remove from heat.
  4. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes before serving. Serve with jasmine rice.
Notes
Recipe from the National Mango Board Cookbook, as seen on The Adventures of MJ and Hungry Man
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅕ recipe, including ~ ¾ cup rice Calories: 450 Fat: 16.0 Carbohydrates: 54.0 Sugar: 14.6 Sodium: 492 Fiber: 3.0 Protein: 24.2 Cholesterol: 120

 How about an RD Q&A soon? Who’s got a question for me? :-D (nicole at preventionrd dot com). Thank you in advance!

Only Tuesday, eh? One of thoooose kinds of weeks, I see. Happy Birthday to my lil brother, Bubbie! How are you 25 already!?

Be well,

sig4

 

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 1

I’m so thankful I haven’t had heartburn…yet. I should probably knock on some wood, right? I’ll do that…

My boss asked me about a week ago how I was feeling (it’s so true that everyone is nice to pregnant women…I kind of love it). I told him I was feeling good and he followed up with, “Any morning sickness?” I had to poke fun at him just a bit, something along the lines of, “No. No morning sickness, but that would’ve passed about 3 months ago anyway. Thanks for asking, though!” He just smiled and said, “Oh, okay. I don’t know about this stuff!”

Endearing.

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 2

I chug along with very few (no?) changes to my diet. I thought I’d be one to track my calories and be sure I was feeding baby appropriately, but I haven’t micromanaged at all. My eating has been on par with pre-prenagncy and my hope is that will continue to manage my weight gain. That said, I *had* to have cheese fries today and they were so, so good. Best decision I made all day, even when it was followed up with a sweat session on treadmill.

My coworker offered my Rolaids afterwards as she swore they’d give me heartburn, but…nope. ;)

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Spicy foods aren’t off limits either. I love spicy foods as much as ever and after meals like this, I fall in love with my crock pot all over again. Double bonus that this recipe can not only be prepped ahead of time, but it can cook all day long. This dish can easily cook for 10 hours and the meat only becomes more tender as it cooks.

I wasn’t sure how Mr. Prevention would feel about these tacos considering there was no cheese involved, but he quickly devoured FIVE tacos. I blinked and they were gone. I served leftovers to my family during their weekend visit and my dad and brother were fighting over the last one. They even loved the mango salsa. These will most definitely be made again and again…even if antacids are required at some point ;)

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (2 tacos each)
 
Ingredients
Pork:
  • 2½ lb boneless pork shoulder, well-trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Salsa:
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
Serving:
  • 12 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, food prep, blender, or cylindrical container with an immersion blender, process the garlic, onion, jalapenos, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, thyme, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon until well-combined and transfer to a slow cooker. Add the pork shoulder and turn to coat. Cook on low 7-10 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until use.
  3. Once through cooking, remove pork from the slow cooker and shred between two forks. Pour all but about 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker and return the pork to the slow cooker; gently mix to combine. Serve pork in corn tortillas and top with salsa.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Sweet Peas & Saffron, marinade adapted from Gourmet by Sweet Peas & Saffron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 431 Fat: 13.7 Carbohydrates: 39.3 Sugar: 14.9 Sodium: 524 Fiber: 4.8 Protein: 38.3 Cholesterol: 100

Friday, here I come!  Not a thing on the weekend agenda :-D Hope cherries are ready for picking, though!

Be well,

sig4

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 1

One of my staff loves to hit up garage sales…and this time of year, they’re everywhere. She enjoys the challenge of finding specific items and so I asked her to pick up any cute, cheap baby clothes for baby Shea…if she happens to run across any. When I walked into work yesterday morning, she had a shopping bag full of clothes sitting in front of my office door. I didn’t even have my purse off my shoulder before she was pulling clothes out of the bag and holding them up to show me her finds.

It wasn’t baby clothes, however – it was maternity clothes!

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 2

 For $6 she was able to get 5 dresses, 3 tops, and 2 pairs of pants. All in my maternity size. SIX dollars! And I loved them all!

I handed her six bucks, thanked her for thinking of me, and I had a stupid excited grin on my face all morning. Cute maternity clothes are not only hard to find, but they’re SO expensive.

I got home from work and quickly washed them, anxious to try them on. I’ve got my outfits planned for the rest of the week, too. :-D

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 3

Just like I love people picking out clothes for me, my brother does, too. It seems like most of his closet was purchased by either my mom or I. He also loves when people cook for him. He lives just a few blocks from my parents but he eats over there most days of the week, if only for lunch.

He’s spoiled. Especially since my mom makes some of his favorite foods fairly often…one of which is chorizo. My meat-loving brother LOVES chorizo. Hard to blame him. It’s delicious.

My mom made breakfast burritos similar to these the last time I was in Chicago visiting and they were so good. I had to remake them. These were almost as good as my mom’s….almost ;)

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 3

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 6 oz chorizo
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup (2 oz) 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 high-fiber, burrito-sized tortillas
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced green pepper and saute 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the chorizo and cook 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat using a wooden spoon. Once meat is cooked through; transfer to a fine mesh strainer and drain off any excess oil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Carefully wipe the hot skillet used to cook the chorizo of any excess grease and return to a medium flame. Once hot, add the eggs and scramble for 3-4 minutes or until no longer runny. Fold in cheese, as well as the chorizo and pepper mixture. Fold to combine.
  4. Spoon ¼ of the egg mixture into each of 4 burrito-sized tortillas. Fold one side over the top (away from your body), fold in both sides (right/left) and roll the burrito, firmly packing in the contents. Cut burrito in half and serve immediately.
Notes
The burrito-sized tortillas I used were Smart & Delicious from La Tortilla Factory - they were 100 calories each.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 burrito Calories: 412 Fat: 25.0 Carbohydrates: 21.0 Sugar: 2.3 Sodium: 874 Fiber: 12.3 Protein: 33.3 Cholesterol: 399

 Busy day ahead!

Be well,

sig4

Chicken Enchilada Casserole + Weekly Menu

Chicken Enchilada Casserole 1

Hormones are a crazy, crazy thing.

Here I am, cruising along, very stable-feeling and in control if life. I’m not having any of those stereotypical breakdowns over what I want for dinner or waaah, I look huge in everything! (but it’d be nice of something fit right). Though, lesson learned on that front. Five months in, I have to keep up with laundry. I was left with only my “normal” pants to wear on Friday and baby was uncomfortably squeezed in all day. I couldn’t wait to get home and change into something…anything…with elastic around the waist.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole 2

But really, life has been good and I have been very much so…me.

Until today.

For those who haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, what are you waiting for? Like most readers who have finished this book, the last 100 pages were spent in tears. No matter how you look at it, the book is sad. The storyline is sad. The ending is bittersweet and…sad. But it’s so good and everyone should read that book.

And the movie? Oh… the movie. It was the book coming to life, just as I had envisioned it while reading. So many movies don’t do the book justice. This book-made-movie was quite the exception.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole 3

I was audibly SOBBING in the movie. SOBBBBBBBBBING. No tissue. Hot mess. Eeeeeeeeemotional wreck. Sobbing. Mr. Prevention was looking at me like I was a lunatic (somewhat fair), but when he started laughing and then I started laughing, I was that person laughing at something sad. No control over my emotions. I’ve always heard of this kind of thing, laughing at something sad, happening at funerals, etc. but it never made sense to me. It still doesn’t make sense to me…BUT IT HAPPENED! I’m chalking this one up to pregnancy. Or else, I really am just a lunatic.

Some other things are perks to pregnancy. Like whipping up Mexican food at home and eating it night after night after night (because this meal makes a lot!). If I thought I loved Mexican before pregnancy, I was mistaken. I now loooove Mexican. Though, who doesn’t love Mexican, pregnant or not?

Chicken Enchilada Casserole 4

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 19 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
  • 2 (15 oz) cans reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can no salt added corn, drained
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups (about 1 lb) cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 cups part-skim Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Mist a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Begin by spreading about ½ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom, followed with a layer of 8-10 tortilla halves, covering the bottom. Sprinkle with 1 cup black beans, ½ cup corn, a few green onions, ¾ cup chicken, and about ½ cup shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, sauce, beans, corn, green onion, chicken, and cheese. Finish with a layer of tortillas and sauce, reserving ½ to ¾ cup cheese for mid-way through baking.
  3. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas evenly with the remaining cheese and continue baking, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving warm.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ casserole Calories: 446 Fat: 10.8 Carbohydrates: 54.4 Sugar: 4.0 Sodium: 857 Fiber: 12.0 Protein: 32.5 Cholesterol: 62

Weekly Menu: June 8th – June 12th

This weekend went too quickly :(

Be well,

sig4