Pretzel-Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers

Pretzel-Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers 1

I’m pretty terrible at all things surprises.

This waiting game to go into labor is HARD. I know that every woman thinks they’ll go into labor before their due date. I mean, when you’re beyond uncomfortable, have no clothes that fit, and every movement feels like a stride in the last miles of a marathon…life isn’t the most pleasant (eye on the mommy prize!). But since my OB is even predicting a prior-to-October-10th arrival, I’m on standby. And finally packed for the hospital…

Mr. Prevention just returned from Italy last night. Every conversation we had was him reminding me to, “Call, text, and email if there were any updates on labor.”

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He made the 48 hour trip with no issues. PHEW. It would likely have taken me a lifetime to get over him missing the birth of his first born. And um, Mr. P…no more work trips from here on out.

In preparation for a busy time, I’ve shopped ahead for Mr. P and my sister-in-law who both have birthdays at the tail end of this month. Oh, by the way…that’s next week already. Where has September gone? I didn’t know a month could both fly by and drag on the way this one has.

I had hid Mr. Prevention’s gift in this little cupboard in the living room where neither of us ever poke around…and he found the gift. So much for a surprise. He now knows he’s getting clothes. Darn itttttttttttt. He’s so, so hard to buy for, too. As is my sister-in-law who happens to be the #1 best gift giver ever. She’s so sneaky in finding out what everyone really wants and makes it happen. That’s a serious skill and I just don’t have it…but I hope she likes her birthday gift regardless ;)

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When my staff were planning my baby shower, I found out. As it ends up, they’re not very good at keeping secrets, either. Fine by me, of course. I at least wanted to be in my most-presentable super pregnant work clothes that day! And it’s the thought that counts…every detail was pink and grey and they had both my favorites – red velvet and carrot cake. Mmm!

When it comes to baby Shea, the big surprise will be what her facial features look like. Judging by ultrasound images, she has her daddy’s nose and lips…but we’ll see. She also seems to have a lot of hair…I wonder what color it will be? :)

When she’s older, I hope she’s not a picky eater. The surprise of a finicky toddler would surely be an unwanted one. But at the same time, all kids probably go through those phases. Husbands do, too…when they just want “chicken fingers” as Mr. Prevention begged one evening. I punted with what I had on hand and I must say, these were delicious. Ultimate kid food that had been taken up a notch in flavor. Simple ingredients and easy to make, too! Not that I was surprised they were good or anything.

Pretzel-Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers 4

Pretzel-Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 servings (about 4½ ounces each)
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb chicken tenderloins
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1½ Tbsp honey
  • 4 oz pretzels (about 80 twists)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with a wire baking rack and mist with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine the egg, mustard, and honey; whisk to combine.
  3. In a mini food prep or food processor, pulse the pretzels and black pepper about 10 times, until pebbly and crushed; transfer to a shallow dish.
  4. Dunk the chicken tenderloins in the egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Then, roll in the pretzels and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4½ oz chicken Calories: 269 Fat: 2.2 Carbohydrates: 23.6 Sugar: 6.0 Sodium: 557 Fiber: 1.0 Protein: 34.0 Cholesterol: 102

 I’m working from home today, updating policies. Thrilling, I know…but it’s what the body and baby (and work!) need :)

Be well,

sig4

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes 1

My favorite breakfasts are carb-oooo-liiiiiicious.

DONUTS!! My #1 most favorite.

Waffles!

Cereal!

Fruit!

Muffins!

Cinnamon rolls! French toast! Biscuits! Granola! Smoothies!

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Protein is the forgotten element of so many breakfast meals and it’s a shame as protein provides both balance and satiety. Yet, proteins tend to be less convenient to eat on-the-go, cost more, and may even be high in saturated fat (mmm….sausage!).

I’ve started challenging my patients to get in 20+ grams of protein at each meal. This thought process not only de-emphasizes carbohydrates some, but it also forces some thought to go into meals. And balance. It’s all about balance. The challenge has been well-accepted and while not simple to do for most people, it’s a simple and straight-forward way to create a more wholesome breakfast.

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I’ve made Protein Pancakes before and I sincerely adore them. I mean, hello? Throw everything in the blender and we’re off. That’s my kind of pancake prep. This recipe is much the same but with additional whole grain from wheat flour. The result is a cross-breed of pancakes and French toast (thanks to the egg and protein)…but I mean that in the best, most delicious way possible.

I ended up doubling the recipe from the original, because, well…I really like breakfast, pancakes, and nearly 3x the amount of protein from my traditional carb-heavy, protein-deficient flapjack stack. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes 4

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 pancakes (10 servings, 3 pancakes each)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 4 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle to medium high heat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until smooth.
  3. Pour approximately ¼ cup pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook for about 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Flip pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Notes
Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Pancake batter can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 pancakes Calories: 166 Fat: 4.1 Carbohydrates: 21.8 Sugar: 5.1 Sodium: 185 Fiber: 2.6 Protein: 10.9 Cholesterol: 74

 I’m slowing down this week and my body is thanking me. I have to get this baby girl to full-term…which is FRIDAY (whaaa!?). I am getting so, so anxious to meet her!!

P.S. If I go on a posting hiatus for a bit, it’s probably because I had a baby and you can find my updates on Instagram ;)

Be well,

sig4

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto 1

Don’t think for a second that this is some bizarre pregnancy craving. This is legit, amazing food. And why people will turn up their noses to goat cheese…well, I’ll never understand. Goat cheese is just…dreamy.

Also dreamy is the thought of days I could sleep without 8 bathroom breaks each night (if you think I’m exaggerating, well, you’re wrong. Sadly.) Or the nights when we didn’t have to have so much white noise to mask my snoring. Or what about eating Tums like they’re magic jelly beans at 3am? Yeah, dreamy. As miraculous and beautiful as creating life truly is…it comes with unpleasantness, too.

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto 2

I sit at my desk and by 3pm I could fall asleep right then and there. Shoot, I think I could fall asleep standing at times.

Most days I try to hit the gym or do SOMETHING to break a sweat, but I’ll be honest…that’s getting harder and harder to do. I’ve come to rely on my personal trainer, our appointments, and his encouragement to get me through a few workouts each week. This poor 25-year-old stud muffin had no idea what he was getting himself into when we started our training months ago. Trainers probably aren’t accustomed to having their clients get rounder and heavier and less fit by the week, but he gives me lots of words of encouragement…which is just what I need.

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto 3

By dinner time, it’s time for whatever will come together in 15 minutes or less. I used to think 30 minutes was a quick meal, but these days, that number is cut in half. And sadly, dishes still won’t wash themselves or magically relocate to the dishwasher. But I stay hopeful.

By 8pm, I’m generally perched on my yoga ball with my baby belly hanging out, rocking from side-to-side and front-to-back trying to find some relief from all the baby PRESSURE. Mr. Prevention generally laughs at my pathetic state and rarely fulfills my requests for a back rub while I grumble about wanting to eat something more…but not get indigestion.

That said, these Blueberry Pizzas with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto are worth suffering the worst indigestion in the world (not that they would cause any unless you’re super duper pregnant). Just…yum. So very yum (and ready in 15 minutes with very little hands-on time!).

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto 4

Blueberry Pizza with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 pieces naan or flatbread
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 oz prosciutto, thinly shaved
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and honey until well blended. Spread the goat cheese mixture over the surface of the naan, evenly dividing between the 3 pieces. Top each pizza with ¼ cup blueberries and bake for 10-12 minutes or until naan becomes just golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and add prosciutto and thyme to each pizza. Sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper, if desired. Slice and serve.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 "pizza" Calories: 373 Fat: 13.7 Carbohydrates: 48.7 Sugar: 12.7 Sodium: 757 Fiber: 2.0 Protein: 14.7 Cholesterol: 37

 Heeey, Thursday! Glad you’re here already :-D Four day work week – lovin’ it.

 Be well,

sig4

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.

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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.

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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!

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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