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

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.

Blueberry Arugula Salad with Brown Rice 3

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

Braised Balsamic Chicken

Braised Balsamic Chicken 1

My co-worker in the kitchen hates chicken. She’s a big meat-eater, but chicken is just not her preferred protein. It’s a little ironic because there’s not a day that goes by that we’re not grilling and serving chicken – it is overwhelmingly the protein of choice in our hospital cafeteria. Of course, this suits me just fine as I, too, love chicken.

Putting her personal preferences aside, the woman can scour the internet for the next best chicken recipe like no one else. Every time, it’s a home run.

Braised Balsamic Chicken 2

I, too, got lucky myself when I made this Fruit and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing for my diabetes cooking club yesterday (I made some changes to the recipe, but I’m going to be posting it soon – so yum!). I just happened to stumble upon it on the beloved Pinterest.

You see, the cooking kitchen at the hospital is in our wellness center/gym. So wouldn’t you know my cutie-pa-tootie trainer is loitering outside the class, hoping and waiting for leftovers. Along with the facility maintenance man…they’ve got it marked on their calendar that the second Wednesday of every month is cooking day.

And there’s usually leftovers. Lucky guys.

Braised Balsamic Chicken 3

I digress. Chicken. We were talking about chicken. This chicken dish – Braised Balsamic Chicken.

It’s one of those recipes that you consider the ingredient list and its simplicity and wonder what kind of magic it can produce. Or lack thereof. I had my doubts. But we served it at a provider function and they all wanted the recipe. Administration was swinging by the kitchen the next day to pay us compliments on the meal…always a good thing.

So, we served it in the cafe with the same results. I think we emailed out the recipe to at least a dozen employees. So, to say this meal is well-loved may be quite the understatement. Enjoy!

Braised Balsamic Chicken 4

Braised Balsamic Chicken
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Simple ingredients...big flavors! Plus, it's ready in under 30 minutes!
Ingredients
  • 4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; once hot, add chicken breasts and cook until slightly golden brown on each side, about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme; combine well in the skillet. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and onions are very tender, about 10 additional minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from All Recipes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz chicken Calories: 250 Fat: 7.6 Carbohydrates: 14.0 Sugar: 9.0 Sodium: 308 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 27.3 Cholesterol: 55

Baby Shea’s nursery is complete after the final touch…I’m going to do a post on the room soon :) We’re ready for our shower this weekend and then we simply wait :-D

But for now, an OB appointment and then work ;)

Be well,

sig4

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 1

I’m soon-to-be 32 weeks pregnant and starting to feel every bit of it.

My stomach capacity is lessened due to the size of baby. I’ve been making my dinner plate, only to share half of it with Mr. Prevention. I wish it were more often that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but that certainly seems to be the case as of late.

So it probably goes without saying that I’m out of breath nearly all of the time…or so it seems, and the back pain is still very much so present. I told my trainer today that I was ditching him next Monday in lieu of a massage. He didn’t even give me a hard time about it, either. A mama-to-be has NEEDS.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 2

Speaking of needs, I continue to read about the importance of exercise in pregnancy. Exercise has many benefits, of course, but aiding in a successful delivery tops the list of perks for me…especially after attending our first child-birthing class last week. Tonight, the couples will be split up so the ladies learn all about breastfeeding and the guys are united with new dads to go through a “Daddy Bootcamp”. It should be interesting…

I digress. I’ve been keeping up with workouts quite well. A lot of core and strength workouts with my trainer, along with elliptical and biking for cardio. Walking continues to be the one workout that causes the most strain on my lower back and the less I can walk, the better I feel. Sadly.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 3

Along with walking, we can add standing to the list of activities that wear on my back throughout the day. My job has me up and down all day long, which has been helpful in keeping me moving, but without excess. But by the end of the day, I’m ready to be a couch potato. Literally.

Dinner has to be quick and easy. HAS TO BE. Otherwise, take-out is sounding better and better all the time (and why I continue to crave lunch meat, I’ll never know…all I wanted yesterday was a Beach Club from Jimmy Johns and I probably haven’t had one of those since college).

Quick and easy dinners are something like this Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry — one pot meal that’s ready in 30 minutes or less. Yes…please! Of course the flavor was great, too…and healthy to boot.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 4

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 (not including rice)
 
A new take on classic stir-fry...plus, a meal ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed and stalks cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini, sliced
  • Hot cooked rice, optional
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, whisk to combine the cornstarch, chicken broth, peanut butter, lime juice, dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper.
  2. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through; remove chicken and keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, heat remaining teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add the asparagus and cook 3-4 minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes before adding the squash/zucchini. Cook vegetables until crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan and stir sauce; toss vegetables and chicken with sauce to coat; cook 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 308 Fat: 11.5 Carbohydrates: 18.0 Sugar: 8.8 Sodium: 351 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 32.8 Cholesterol: 55

 Busy day…busy WEEK. But can’t wait for our baby shower on Saturday! :-D

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