Baked Crunchy Tacos

Baked Crunchy Tacos 1

Our dog, Lily, is really smart. And cute…and lazy, but that’s a given.

We knew when choosing a breed that bulldogs are high-maintenance and suffer from a lot of chronic health conditions. But their positive traits more than make up for their poor health and stubborn attitudes.

Looking at Lily, you’d think she was a huge beggar and just stood by my side every second I spend in the kitchen and/or eating, but that’s really not the case. She’s actually not motivated by food like many dogs and even follows the recommendation to eat when hungry. As in, she may go a day without eating, or simply reduce her two meals a day down to one.

Baked Crunchy Tacos 2

I like to say she’s like her mama (me, that is). She wasn’t blessed with a metabolism to speak of and has lots of cuteness (chubbiness!) that makes her…her.

She’s also fairly athletic…kind of like her mama. Her physique is not one that’s aerodynamic, but girlfriend can leap into the air to catch a tennis ball like none other. She’s also quite the competition when it comes to tug of war. When we both end up getting in a workout from playing, it’s generally a win-win. And don’t get me started on swimming. The dog is a BEACH BUM. Mr. Prevention has several pairs of swim trunks, but whenever he’s got a pair on, she goes into psycho beach mode and throws a complete tantrum until she, too, gets to go to the beach. We think she also knows the scent of the beach, sun block, and generally speaking recognizes that sunny weekend days are meant to be spent at the beach.

Half smart, half crazy stubborn.

Baked Crunchy Tacos 3

She also expresses her deep desire by way of tantrums on the rare occasions I cook with beef. Chicken, peanut butter, and cheese all top the charts of her preferred flavor palate, but beef is in a league of its own. The smell of these tacos nearly sent this dog into complete and total MELTDOWN mode. And I didn’t share because they were seasoned with spicy taco seasoning and I’ve ready plenty that dogs are more sensitive to spicy foods than us humans.

Regardless, it was a wise decision on my part as there was more food for us. This was undoubtedly one of the best (and simplest!) meals we’ve had in some time. I figured we’d like the dish, but it was loved by us both. Simple can sometimes be best and sharing is not always advised ;)

Baked Crunchy Tacos 4

Baked Crunchy Tacos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (2 tacos each)
 
Ingredients
  • 12 crunchy taco shells
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange taco shells in a 9x13-inch casserole dish, openings facing upwards.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add ground sirloin and cook 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon throughout cooking. Drain any grease. Add the petite diced tomatoes and taco seasoning; mix well and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Fill each taco shell with the meat mixture, dividing equally until all the meat is used. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the tops of the filled tacos and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes before serving.
Notes
Recipe from Heather Likes Food
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 299 Fat: 11.0 Carbohydrates: 23.8 Sugar: 3.0 Sodium: 468 Fiber: 2.7 Protein: 23.8 Cholesterol: 57

 Why is a 4 day work week a daunting thought after 3 full days off? Hate that!

Be well,

sig4

Chicken Caesar Burger + Weekly Menu

Chicken Caesar Burger 1

The vibe at home is weird. It’s a 3 day weekend and we have…nothing to do (no internet, either…x2 days already!). Yesterday wasn’t beach weather so it was this odd day of nothingness. I am experiencing a lot of swelling and my OB’s orders were “to do less”…so I’m trying to oblige. But I find that when I’m in a complete and total relaxation mode, all I want to do is doze off. And even a pregnant woman can only sleep so much!

On the floor cuddling with Lily. After a shower as I just happen to fall into bed. On the couch. On the porch. In the hammock as I try to plow though a great but REALLY long book. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Not even the U.S. Open is holding my attention and that’s saying something. I love watching tennis!

Chicken Caesar Burger 2

We have continued to chip away at all of the baby STUFF assembly. We’ve never purchased so many D batteries before. Everything that moves or soothes a baby requires batteries, it seems. And neither of us quite have the knack for assembly – swings, pack-n-plays, strollers…why doesn’t anything come assembled!? I’d sure pay an up-charge for that luxury!

And let me just say how grateful I am to have the nursery complete. With an 8 month belly in front of me (hopefully this link to one of my maternity photos works!), any type of movement is…a chore. I huff and puff from just living. And while no woman would change creating life…creating life is not easy!

Chicken Caesar Burger 3

I digress.

What have we been eating? Simple stuff. Stuff that requires minimal effort and even less dishes.

For such requests, Pinterest is a saving grace. Finding quick meals is not only great for I-need-off-my-feet times of desperation, but also times of oh-my-gosh-I-have-a-newborn, as well. I mean, I’m assuming…rather safely assuming, I’m sure. Plus, Labor Day weekend is a time to cram in all of the grilling and to continue doing so until the elements demand otherwise. Less dishes, remember!

Chicken Caesar Burger 4

Chicken Caesar Burger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 2 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 3 Tbsp light prepared Caesar dressing
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 400 F.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top each piece of grilled chicken with 1 ounce of sliced mozzarella and 1½ tablespoons Caesar dressing.
  3. Assemble sandwiches with the prepared chicken, lettuce, and tomato. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Food, Faith, Fitness
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 prepared sandwich/burger Calories: 382 Fat: 12.0 Carbohydrates: 29.0 Sugar: 3.5 Sodium: 677 Fiber: 6.5 Protein: 39.5 Cholesterol: 75

Weekly Menu: August 31st – September 4th

Time to get ready for the beach :-D

Be well,

sig4

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

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 1

Hi! Welcome to an upgraded PreventionRD.com site!

It took some time and major help, but Prevention RD got a make-over and a huge upgrade in efficiency. The site loads, like, 20 times faster than it did yesterday. Literally. It’s a huge difference and I hope you find it helpful in quickly and effortlessly locating your favorite recipes and posts.

Quick and easy – who isn’t on board with that?

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 2

Speaking of which, quick and easy is the name of the game when it comes to this Creamy Pineapple Sorbet. I saw the recipe on Pinterest with the sorbet so cutely piled into a pineapple half. ALMOST too pretty to eat. So picturesque.

And impressive.

My sorbet nearly didn’t make it from the blender to the ice cream maker, much less to the freezer before I was going at it with my spoon, anxious to taste. Piling it into a pineapple? It’s highly unlikely that I could exert such self restraint.

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 3

I debated on whether or not to use the heavy whipping cream in the recipe, but decided to stick to the recipe. Heavy whipping cream is sinfully delicious at a whopping 50 calories per TABLESPOON…but it really does take this sorbet to new places with its creaminess (as well as keeping it from freezing rock solid). Thank goodness a little bit goes a long way. Besides, it’s the only source of fat in this fairly sinless dessert.

As the temperature and humidity remain at uncomfortable heights here in southwest Michigan, especially for this almost-8-month-pregnant Nicole, it’s a task to keep my evening sorbet portions in check. Regardless, I’ll be making more this weekend ;)

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 4

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 (1/2 cup per serving)
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Freeze ice cream maker according to directions before beginning.
  2. Combine pineapple, sugar, and water in a blender and puree until smooth or nearly smooth. Add whipping cream and pulse 10-20 times to combine; transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to chill completely.
  3. Pour chilled mixture into the frozen ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer sorbet to a freezer safe bowl and freeze for 2+ hours before serving. Sorbet may require 5-10 minutes to soften before serving.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 104 Fat: 4.1 Carbohydrates: 17.7 Sugar: 14.7 Sodium: 5 Fiber: 0.8 Protein: 0.4 Cholesterol: 16

 Busy day ahead and already looking forward to the 3 day holiday weekend!

P.S. If you notice anything weird going on with the site, please let me know! Oh, and be sure to update your RSS feed – http://www.preventionrd.com/feed/

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