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

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes + Weekly Menu

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes 1

This weekend is the National Blueberry Festival weekend in our neck of the woods. P.S. I so want this t-shirt. 5K/10K yesterday, blueberry pie eating contest…the list goes on and on. All weekend, all blueberries.

On my way to and from work, I pass all the vacationers (and locals) picking blueberries. Blueberries so big you can see them on the bushes 100 feet away in your car as you pass by at 60 mph. If I weren’t wearing heels, it would be my before and after work routine to stop and pick.

Co-workers have acres and acres of berries and will often invite us over to pick…for free. Deliciousness and antioxidants are abundant in southwest Michigan come August, there’s no doubt about it.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes 2

I haven’t actually picked blueberries yet this season, but I’m hoping to very soon.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a 5 lb box at the farmer’s market in South Haven and those were gone in a week. Then, our friend Kylie visited and brought the BIGGEST (and oh so sweet!) blueberries when she came – another 5 lbs gone…in less than a week. And on my way home from work on Friday, I swung by one of the farms for a 5 lb box, minutes after the field workers had returned for the day with flats full of the delicious berries.

Should I gush a little more by sharing that 5 lbs of blueberries runs anywhere between $10 and $14? Heaven!

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes 3

Needless to say, there’s been a lot of berry-eating going on. Raw, baking, freezing, smoothies…you name it.

And nope, I’m not sick of blueberries…at all, whatsoever.

This morning I’m going to make a version of these Giant Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies with blueberries and cranberries, but last week was these Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. Not only are lemon and blueberry a flavor pair that tops all flavor pairings, but they’re quick and easy to make, use every day ingredients, and a serving of 3 ‘cakes comes in under 300 calories. Oh yes, please!

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes 4

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 (3 pancakes each)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1⅓ cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat an electric griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, milk, and lemon juice.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until nearly combined; fold in blueberries.
  4. Drop batter on hot griddle by the ¼ cup, spreading to create a 4-inch diameter pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes or until bubbles rise to the surface and the pancakes are slightly golden; flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe from P.S. Heart, and originally Pastry Affair
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 panckes Calories: 297 Fat: 9.5 Carbohydrates: 47.3 Sugar: 93. Sodium: 702 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 6.5 Cholesterol: 46

Weekly Menu: August 10th – August 14th

Someone will be happy to find out it that it’s another beach day today! Thank you, weekend, for being perfect! #worththewait

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

Pickled “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce + Weekly Menu

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 1

Yesterday was the first day I was able to get in the lake and actually enjoy the water. As in, it was above 64 degrees for the first time this summer, or so it seemed. We’ve had very few 80-something degree days, perhaps none in the 90′s, and have been *lucky* to get weather in the 70′s. With temps dropping below 60 most every night, everything is just…confused.

Except Lily. Fortunately or unfortunately, Lily hasn’t been confused – if it’s a weekend day, she throws a temper tantrum until we head to the beach. The girl just knows that when it’s a summer weekend day and the sun is out…she wants to be bummin’ on the beach. And she makes her wishes very well-known. Brat.

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 2

My hydrangea are MIA this year. Was it the brutal winter or the unusually mild summer? Not sure.

Why is Mr. Prevention STILL talking about getting a jet ski? I’ll never know.

Tomato plants? Totally confused.

Despite not having a backyard, we have two decent-sized side yards, one of which gets some good sun most of the day. While I had proposed a raised bed garden in years past, it wasn’t a good idea until this year when I felt as round as the Goodyear blimp and Mr. Prevention wanted to tackle the project. He has a green thumb, of sorts, but his tomato plants have turned into one giant heap of tomato madness. He didn’t exactly allow space enough for them to actually grow.

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 3

The tomato plants have gotten so far as to produce a MASSIVE amount of green tomatoes, but the temps and sun haven’t warranted them actually turning red yet. And before he reads this (unlikely, but possible) and corrects me, a *few* have turned red. But there’s about 421 green tomatoes in my side yard that are making little to no progress in their ripening. It may be October before we’re getting actual yield from the garden.

But the good news is: green tomatoes are delicious, too. Not as versatile, but certainly delicious.

Fried green tomatoes or “fried” green tomatoes have become somewhat trendy. Not quite bacon status, but lusted after amongst foodies. I mean, what’s not to love about a “Fried” Green Tomato BLT? Or these Pickled “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce? Yes, please! I guess it’s alright by me if summer stays confused. Or the tomatoes, anyway.

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pickled "Fried" Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
Pickling:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices green tomato (about 4 tomatoes)
Tomatoes:
  • 7 Tbsp lowfat buttermilk, divided
  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1¼ cup panko
  • ⅓ cup masa harina
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Instructions
  1. Combine pickling ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain tomatoes; pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 5 tablespoons buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Stir in ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add panko to pan; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in masa harina, ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place panko mixture in a shallow dish. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a third shallow dish.
  4. Dredge tomato slices in flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture, turning to coat.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of tomatoes; cook 4 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until browned. Repeat with remaining oil and tomatoes. Serve with sauce.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tomato slices with sauce Calories: 155 Fat: 8.1 Carbohydrates: 17.9 Sugar: 5.0 Sodium: 226 Fiber: 1.4 Protein: 4.4 Cholesterol: 24

Weekly Menu: August 3rd – August 7th

 Only TWO entries are still up for grabs in this year’s chili contest! Be sure to check out the details at the end of this post!

Mi familia is coming up for a beach day and cookout :-D

Be well,

 sig4