Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 1

It’s weird to be thinking about upcoming events…and needing a babysitter. It’s bizarre to think that in a few weeks, I’m going to be a MOM. Pinch me!!

It’s beyond my comprehension as to why Mr. Prevention agreed to go to Babies R Us with me last weekend to return a few things and finish gathering must-have items off our registry. I know the rainy weather was the only reason he was agreeable, but he was quickly regretting his decision when the shopping trip turned into a Babies R Us excursion that absorbed the ENTIRE afternoon. Hey, at least we saved over $200 with my amazing couponing skills!

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 2

I knew I had lost him by the first aisle. Go figure, breast milk storage bags and slow flow vs. medium flow bottle nipples didn’t hold his attention…not even for a second. I figured the experience would improve when we got around to the strollers, but he just plopped down on the display shelving and price compared on Amazon and other online retailers, inquiring over and over again, “Well, why do you want this one instead of this one?”

Duuuuuuuuuuude. I listen to other women and have done exhausting amounts of research on…all things baby.

He should really learn to pick his battles.

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 3

When I whipped up this Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing on Tuesday night, I informed him that “it would probably be a good pizza night” for him. I know he’s not a quinoa lover and would give the side-eye to this meal. It’s his loss if he’d rather have a frozen pizza, and I wasn’t going to try to convince him otherwise.

When he helped himself to a serving, he said it was almost sweet enough to be dessert (thank you, summer produce!) and he piled away a huge helping of the dish…never resorting to pizza for dinner. I didn’t hear a peep about pizza – just that he enjoyed this recipe. It was also enjoyed by my diabetes cooking club and last week, in the cafeteria at work. Yeeep, it’s a winner!

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 4

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 (about 1⅔ cups each)
 
Ingredients
Salad:
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked), rinsed and drained + 1⅓ cups water
  • 1 quart strawberries, quartered
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup (2 oz) feta, crumbled
Dressing:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add quinoa and water and cook on high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes; remove from heat and keep covered for 5+ minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool completely. Note: you can do this step 1-2 days in advance.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooled, toss it with the citrus poppy seed dressing in a large bowl. Add the fruit, cooked chicken, and walnuts; toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature with about 1 tablespoon of feta crumbled over the top of each serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Krafted Koch
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1⅔ cups Calories: 474 Fat: 21.8 Carbohydrates: 44.4 Sugar: 23.1 Sodium: 284 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 26.8 Cholesterol: 41

 We’re having maternity photos taken tonight – I’m excited! I have just a few photos of myself pregnant, and I’m glad I’ll have something more to remember my pregnancy by :)

Be well,

sig4

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese 1

Last week, this was the only meal that was actually prepared from my weekly menu. I was transferring the meat I’d purchased to the freezer for a later date (i.e. this week and hence why I have no weekly menu — it’s the same as last week’s) and trying to appease the irritable and sick Mr. Prevention.

Which, by the way, thank you so much for humoring us both with the tomato soup question on Facebook. Only that man can make a can of sodium-packed soup taste like water. But, a mean grilled cheese rounded it out to be an acceptable meal.

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese 2

The next evening, I was all prepared to make tacos…when he informed me that “Chinese take-out sounds good”.

This is not what a pregnant woman who needs soapy water and/or lotion to remove her wedding and engagement rings should be up to. My fingers continue to look like turkey links/bratwursts and my shoes are all getting so tight. I need to be nixing the salt…or at least consuming meals with less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium, at the very least. Not eating salty take-out Chinese food.

But, whiny sick husbands get what they want. Today, he should be back to 100% and we can be back to our regularly scheduled lives. And meals.

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese 3

But last Sunday, I made this Caprese Macaroni and Cheese. It looked…fantastic. And simple. I figured it had some serious potential, as well as some serious potential to be a bit lack-luster (don’t you hate when dishes LOOK amazing but fail to ‘wow’?). However, it did not disappoint.

Cheese, cheese, cheese, and caprese…what’s not to love? Especially with the generous portion coming in at 466 calories and a respectable 8.2 grams of fiber!

The original recipe called for pesto, but I lightened things up a bit with using big tomatoes, some additional (whole wheat) pasta, and fresh basil. The result was truly epic. We can’t wait to make this again and for the first time in a LONG time, we were fighting over leftovers.

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese 4

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 10 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 20-30 basil leaves, chiffonade and divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta, stir, and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together milk, vegetable broth, flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring sauce to a low boil over medium heat; simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over hot, drained pasta, along with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella; mix well.
  4. In the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish, spread tomato sauce on the bottom to coat completely. Add half of the macaroni mixture over the tomato sauce, top with half of the tomato slices, ⅓ of the basil, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with macaroni, ⅓ of the basil, remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, and tomato slices, in that order.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ⅓ basil before serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Diethood
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅕ recipe Calories: 466 Fat: 17.2 Carbohydrates: 56.2 Sugar: 8.0 Sodium: 721 Fiber: 8.2 Protein: 30.4 Cholesterol: 40

 Early meeting, busy day :(

Thanks for all the sweet comments on Baby Shea’s nursery!! :-D 52 days!

Be well,

sig4

 

Fajita Chicken Burgers

Fajita Chicken Burger 1

He went and did it. Mr. Prevention bought a jet ski last Sunday.

I just had a hunch when he left the house “to go look at” a used jet ski he found online. He’d been texting with the guy for several days, trying to set-up a time to meet up. I just knew when he walked out, he wasn’t coming home without an unnecessary new water toy. As soon as my phone rang an hour or so later, I knew exactly what he was going to say.

Granted, getting a jet ski was my idea from last summer…you know, when I wasn’t pregnant. Also, buying a jet ski with only 4 weeks left of summer, the timing is…less than optimal.

Fajita Chicken Burger 2

I also wasn’t surprised when he spent much of Monday afternoon and evening getting the jet ski registered and insured and all that jazz. Of course, he then had to test drive the jet ski and while he’d planned to be home at 7pm…it didn’t happen.

Dinner was ready, but Mr. Prevention was MIA, jet skiing around Lake Michigan doing his thing.

I’m 7 months pregnant, Mr. P. Remember, happy wife…happy life. And hungry wife who comes home from work to make dinner for just herself? Not happy.

Fajita Chicken Burger 3

Now, the jet ski is taking up *my* parking spot in the garage and he’s gone out each night to buy something new — a tube and rope for tubing and life vests…in every possible size. Is this his way of “nesting”? To get everything out of his system before baby Shea arrives in a few short weeks? Let’s hope. I’m trying to be patient and wait out the newness of the jet ski, understanding that sadly, summer is coming to an end sooner than any of us probably care to think about.

But, I am sick of eating dinner alone. Especially when I make KILLER meals.

These burgers were…phenomenal. I was in love. I’m typically very indifferent towards burgers, especially chicken burgers that can tend to dry out, but these were absolutely delicious! His loss, really ;)

Fajita Chicken Burger 4

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fajita Chicken Burgers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Burgers:
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
Topping:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices part-skim colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the burger ingredients until well-incorporated and use your hands to form into four patties, about 5 inches in diameter each.
  2. Preheat grill to 400 F. Grill burgers 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through, flipping halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onions and cook 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the bell pepper slices and cook 15-20 minutes or until very tender and slightly caramelized.
  4. Mash the avocado with the salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  5. To assemble, spread avocado over the bottoms of each bun. Top with burger, cheese, and pepper mixture. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Buns in My Oven
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 burger Calories: 480 Fat: 22.0 Carbohydrates: 37.3 Sugar: 6.5 Sodium: 719 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 37.0 Cholesterol: 126

So ready for the weekend!

Be well,

sig4

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 1

Sometimes, I have good ideas. More rarely, Mr. Prevention has good ideas (kidding, kidding).

When I started this blog over 5 years ago, it was a great idea and Mr. Prevention didn’t think I’d blog for more than a few weeks. Silly guy.

When Mr. P decided to build a garden this year – it was a great idea. We have squash and tomatoes galore!

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 2

Mr. Prevention’s recent idea: to buy a wave runner.

My idea: to buy a larger SUV/crossover with Shea’s imminent arrival.

Hmmmm…one is so practical and one is so…not practical.

So what does he do? He installs a trailer hitch on my crossover, plans to buy a rack, and when we have overflow luggage when traveling with dog & baby, we can strap it to the back. PERFECT!!! Wait, no. Eye roll.

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 3

Sometimes, our ideas are…not so great ideas. It happens.

Like the time I made COLD avocado soup – not a great idea. That was at least 4 years ago and Mr. Prevention still likes to remind me of that culinary disaster.

Other times, on occasion, I hit a culinary home run. Like these Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas, for example. They are husband-approved and coworker-approved. So much flavor going on. I know I teased everyone with these on Instagram yesterday when we enjoyed leftovers, so, alas, here’s the recipe. :)

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 4

5.0 from 3 reviews
Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 (2 tostadas each)
 
Ingredients
Pork:
  • 3 lb pork shoulder, all fat removed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
Tostadas:
  • 3 large avocados
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 16 tostadas
  • 1 small head of romaine, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
Instructions
  1. Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board.
  2. In a small dish, combine the cumin, adobo seasoning, and garlic powder; mix well and rub over all surfaces of pork. Using a sharp paring knife, insert blade into the pork on all sides, inserting slivers of garlic into each hole, repeating with all of the garlic.
  3. Transfer pork to a slow cooker and add chicken broth, chipotles in adobo, and bay leaves. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove to a cutting board and shred meat using 2 forks. Drain all but ½ to ⅔ cup of the liquid in the slow cooker and return meat to the slow cooker; cover and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mash the avocados against the side of a bowl using the back of a fork; add salt and combine well.
  5. To assemble, spread avocado over the surface of each tostada and top with 3 ounces of shredded pork, lettuce, tomato, and salsa, if desired. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tostadas Calories: 500 Fat: 26.5 Carbohydrates: 31.9 Sugar: 2.6 Sodium: 805 Fiber: 7.8 Protein: 35.6 Cholesterol: 90

 The end of the week is in sight! Good thing, I could barely hold my eyelids open for most of yesterday afternoon.

Be well,

sig4

Caprese Avocado Salad

Caprese Avocado Salad 1

This baby has gone from sedentary and sleeping (I thought her and Mr. P had so much in common already ;) ) to a gymnast overnight. I was sure I felt these “flutters” people speak of around 19 weeks. I was sitting in a meeting, just typing away and BAM. I felt flutters. It had to be the baby moving. A week and then two…and then three pass by and I felt no additional movement. Of course my next OB appointment was still nearly a week away yet, and my mind started to run through all the possibilities of what’s going on in there.

None of which are good, naturally.

Caprese Avocado Salad 2

And then this week came along. Week 24 as of today (60% baked!).

This baby girl is sooo active all of a sudden. Or she’s had one huge growth spurt in the past week, who knows. But I’m enjoying it. Except we’ve gone from the “flutters” I once felt weeks ago to a battle ground in my uterus. I laugh sometimes at how hard the little kicks or punches really are. Even the midwife on Wednesday couldn’t believe how hard the jab was when she had the doppler on my belly.

“Whoa,” she said. “You felt that, right?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “It feels like gas or just straight up violence!” She laughed and agreed.

Caprese Avocado Salad 3

I was also given the green light for some light run/walk action this past week. Her only stipulation was that my HR not go over 150 bpm and I stay very well hydrated. As someone who has never consistently worn a heart rate monitor (and now pants after walking up a flight of stairs, especially after no intense exercise for the past 5 1/2 months), I wanted to test out my HR with running ASAP.

Of course, I couldn’t “jog” more than 60 seconds at a 5.0 mph pace without my HR exceeding 150, soooo…I’m stuck with more of a walk, as it ends up. Such a tease…such a tease.

It’s kind of like serving a tomato without mozzarella, or worse yet, a salad with no cheese whatsoever. Cheese lovers understand…cholesterol levels do not. Regardless, caprese is not caprese without fresh mozzarella. And let’s add to that list basil. The balsamic vinegar and avocado (baby brain food!) are just perks. No tease in this salad, it has it all…including the chicken to consider this salad a meal, in the words of Mr. P.

Caprese Avocado Salad 4

Caprese Avocado Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz boneless,skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 small hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chiffonade
Instructions
  1. To make the balsamic reduction, whisk together the vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and set over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan, cooking 3-4 minutes per side, cooking through. Remove chicken from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Allow chicken to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  3. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado and basil. Pour balsamic reduction on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe from Damn Delicious and originally, Iowa Girl Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ recipe Calories: 495 Fat: 27.0 Carbohydrates: 22.3 Sugar: 15.0 Sodium: 332 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 38.7 Cholesterol: 95

 TGIF!! :-D

Be well,

sig4