17 Weeks

Lets start off with some food talk. How about “better than pizza” avocado toast!

First I toasted organic 9 grain bread, mashed an avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper and then sliced some tomato. Because no one else will eat this I decided to smear half of the avocado on each slice of bread. I thought about saving some for later but didn’t want to risk it going bad! Add the sliced tomato and some shredded cheese and pop it in the broiler until melted. Watch closely! I burnt some leftover corn muffins last week this way…I mean completely black-burnt!

toast and avocado

avocado toast

Yesterday I had a baby check up appointment. The baby’s heartbeat is sounding great at 155-160 beats per minute. This appointment was also the first time they measured my belly! Question: do you ever consider the clothes/shoes you are wearing or wear less jewelry when you know that you’ll be getting on a scale? Pure vanity but I do it every time.

Afterwards we went to Bay Local for lunch. On Monday they do half off appetizers and the hummus plate sounded good to me. House made hummus, garlic toasted pita points, carrots, cucumber, tomato, apples and grapes. Lunch for only $5? Yes, please!

Hummus plate

Don’t be fooled by all the healthy food. I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and had them for a snack for 3 nights in the last week. On Valentines night I crushed 2 cookies over vanilla frozen yogurt. Pure joy!

17 weeks

17 weeks

CrAzY eyes!
How far along? 17 weeks
Baby’s size:¬†about the size of an onion and about 5 inches from head to rump
Total weight gain: 6 pounds
Clothes: Never thought I would be a preggo jeans convert but I am.¬†Some women say they wear their regular jeans throughout their pregnancy but I found that annoying. Once I could no longer button my jeans I wore them with a rubber band. This helped to keep the button from poking out. After a few more weeks the button was not only undone but I also had to leave them unzipped. I have a belly band too but with all of this there is so much constant adjustment needed. Try every time you get up, sit down, go to the bathroom and walk. Are my pants unzipped? Is my shirt long enough? Is my button laying flat? These lifesavers (aka jeans) are AG Adriano Goldschmied maternity jeans that I purchased at A Pea in the Pod. The sales person recommended them over 7 jeans for the stretch and said they are the one brand she sees women being able to wear through their entire pregnancy. I went into the dressing room with a couple of pairs of jeans but as soon as these went on I knew they were the ones. Jeans that feel like leggings? Sold! The price was scary…for this reason these will most likely be the only pair I buy. When the weather gets warmer I have maxi skirts, dresses and other options. For now it’ll be these jeans and leggings! My tank is a racerback tank from Victoria’s Secret. The cardigan is Target from last year.
Feeling: Little baby flutters are happening!
Funny: Travis said he had a dream that he was walking around the house and saw baby legs sticking out from under a table. He thought, “That’s our baby. I found the baby.” I thought I was the one that was supposed to be having the weird dreams right now?!
Cravings: My yogurt, granola and fruit bowls are at the top of the list. One night I wanted a hamburger and grilled asparagus and Travis went out to use the grill in the 20 degree weather!
Drinking: Kevita pomegranate or strawberry acai coconut flavor sparkling probiotic drinks. Decaf coffee with stevia and half-n-half. Sunday I made a faux mimosa with half OJ and half nectarine sparkling water…SO GOOD. Tons of water of course…
Can’t stand the thought of: Still spinach and I also really don’t love onions right now. I can eat them finely diced and cooked into soup or a sauce but no raw ones. Bleck!
Looking forward to: Warm weather!
Advertisements

Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing¬† (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

I thought the only fruit available for my smoothie this morning was bananas. I looove smoothies with “only” bananas. Was getting ready to blurt out the recipe for my banana spice smoothie but I’ll save it for another day…

Avocados are a fruit, so I was wrong, I did have another fruit besides bananas.¬†I made an avocado smoothie a few months back and didn’t like the combo and just never tried again. Today the combo was excellent. Ripe avocados + frozen bananas (they must be frozen so the smoothie will turn out cold and thick) + chocolate protein powder + a little honey for sweetness = drinking it faster than usual because it’s so good.

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • 1 heaping scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • 2 tablespoons local honey

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) on “smoothie” setting. Instagram it! Serves 2. Enjoy!

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

This is a salad that’s not a salad. It’s an un-salad. No lettuce, no salad, right?!

Salmon Nicoise

I love a good tuna nicoise salad when I’m out for lunch. This recipe is a riff on that salad. Yes, other people have switched the tuna for salmon before (I’m not the first!) but I thought I would try the toppings without the greens. It was good and fun to eat!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

For the salad

  • fresh salmon – sprinkle with kosher salt/ pepper and lemon zest. bake at 425 degrees until done
  • fresh green beans – cooked to desired done-ness
  • black and green olives
  • sliced avocado
  • new potatoes, sliced boiled and chilled
  • hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • tomato chunks

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I made the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs earlier in the day and chilled them in the fridge. This was there was a nice combo of warm and cold on the plate. The potatoes were amazing with the dressing…kind of like a no-mayo potato salad.

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. (you will have extra vinaigrette for a salad the next day) Enjoy!

 

Halibut with Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

I went to the store yesterday with cod on my grocery list but the halibut was on sale…endofstory. Just kidding, another selling point was the fact it was wild caught and sustainable. Halibut is awesome when paired with a little sweetness and it loves when you shower it with citrus. Toss in some fresh herbs. Avocado. Tomato. Done. mango avocado salsa For the halibut: season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, get a pan really hot and add a splash of EVOO, then sear the fish for about 3 min per side. I made a bed of plain quinoa, then added the halibut and topped with plenty of the salsa. We ate all of the salsa between 2 people so if you are feeding more…make MORE ūüôā halibut with mango avocado salsa

Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced mango, thawed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives (I use kitchen shears…easier than a knife!)
  • 1 tablespoons¬†extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Toss together in a small bowl and enjoy outside!

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food:

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana and organic peanut butter

Lunch: a chicken burrito (rice/black beans/salsa/cheese) with guacamole from Alamo

Dinner: We heated up the grill – charcoal style – and enjoyed a filet. Served with soba noodles tossed with sauteed zucchini, sliced green onions, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Kimchi on the side!

Monday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla agave yogurt, strawberries and blueberries

Lunch: Leftover soba noodles and a few slices of leftover steak

Dinner: Homemade pizza with broccoli, shallots and lots-O-mozz cheese

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, banana, chia seeds and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: I visited my sister Angela and my nephews for the day. We always have lunch together when I visit so I came prepared with some leftover pizza dough, an avocado, a lemon and some cheese. I had the idea to pre-bake the crust with a little olive oil, mash the avocado with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and then top it with a little cheese. My sister had a roma tomato so we decided to add that in. My nephews both LOVE tomatoes….errr “manos”….that’s their pronunciation!

Here’s the crust getting smeared with avocado…

pizza

…and with all the toppings. After this step we baked it for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese…and then there were no more pics because we devoured it!

pizza with avocado, tomato and cheese

Dinner: We were invited to our friends Ashley and Cade’s house for dinner. They started a fire in the fire pit and got their charcoal grill going. Soon they were cooking up salmon fillets and roasting romaine which had been drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. There was also some warm rosemary bread to go with it. It was too delicious and too much fun for a standard Tuesday night! I a-l-m-o-s-t felt guilty!

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, cinnamon and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: Leftover cold soba noodles, steamed broccoli and a fried egg

cold soba noodles, broccoli and fried egg

Dinner: Maple Dijon Chicken and spinach & mixed greens salad with diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, walnuts, chunks of brie and lemon vinaigrette

salad

Thursday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, cinnamon, ginger, flax seeds and sliced almonds

Lunch: a vegetarian burrito bowl with guacamole from Chipotle (it’s been forever since I had one of those!)

Dinner: grilled skirt steak, smashed potatoes and the same type of salad we had yesterday (minus the walnuts because I didn’t have any more)

Friday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple…and GRANOLA hello!

Lunch: My fiance’s grandfather passed away this week. At 96 his funeral today was a celebration of his life. I will miss his wit and charm. He couldn’t hear yet refused to wear a hearing aid and this caused endless laughs with his misunderstandings what he thought he heard. Though I believe sometimes he was just playing. For a long time he has called me his daughter-in-law even though I’m engaged to his grandson (doesn’t that make me his grandaughter-in law?). Every time we visited he asked Travis, “when are you going to marry that girl? If I was 50 years younger I’d do it for you.” You couldn’t visit Walter Haney Carper without leaving with a smile on your face! Today I snacked for lunch: ham, a deviled egg, a little pasta salad, fruit and 2 small cookies

Dinner: Back over to Ashley and Cade’s house. She made these incredible bowls with slices of pork loin, broth, sliced cabbage, carrots, avocado and cilantro. It was a little like pho without the noodles.

Saturday

Breakfast:¬†granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana…

granola bowl

Lunch:¬†black beans, avocado, cheese and Mother in Law’s kimchi

Lunch: black beans, avocado, cheese and kimchi

Dinner: Mom’s Siam¬†for some thai food on the patio. I had a dish with watercress, ginger, broccoli, green beans and shrimp. Super yum!

Weekly Eats

Our 3rd week in Key West ended on Friday with an 18-hour ride back to VA. Many good memories and good times!

Sunday

Breakfast: a papaya- mango yogurt cup and a half of a Kind bar

Lunch: Lagerheads Beach Bar Рwe ordered fish tacos and crab cakes (comes with 2 cakes topped with the same mango salsa that are on the tacos). Then we each had 1 taco and 1 crab cake. A cantaloupe slice and a small chocolate chip cookie also came with it.

Dinner: Smokin’ Tuna – yellowtail in a soy-ginger sauce with cole slaw and corn on the cob on the side.

Monday

Breakfast: homemade yogurt, granola and fruit bowls.

breakfast fixins

fruit, yogurt, granola bowls

Lunch: Bad Boy Burrito – a burrito with chicken, mango-habenero salsa, avocado, red onion, cojita cheese, sour cream and their rice/black beans. Eaten by the pool at Southernmost Mansion!

Dinner: We grilled out with our friends Emily and Rick on their boat. Steak, sausage, hot dogs, cole slaw and cauliflower. Very good!!

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk,  banana, blueberries, peaches and blueberry cardamom yogurt. Then I spilled one of the smoothies all over the counter. Smoothie-abuse!

Lunch: I sauteed more of our freshly caught fish and served it with cole slaw and a side of black beans, topped with a fried egg, a sprinkle of cheese and some salsa.

fresh fish

Randolph and Walter got a haircut and bath today!

Randolph, walter and me

Dinner: Santiago’s Bodega – we sat at an outside table and shared a greek salad, the mako shark special, the lamp chops and the camembert wedge with roasted red pepper/almonds/apricot. Then Travis had to go and order the bread pudding! What?! Of course, I want some…

Wednesday

Breakfast:¬†smoothie with almond milk, banana, frozen cherries…topped with a little granola for crunch and some strawberry slices. Chomp-chomp!

cherry,  banana smoothie with granola and strawberries

Walter with a sand beard and Randolph

Lunch: We grilled up 2 small super-thin steaks and served them with more of the coleslaw and some potatoes and onions cooked together with a fried egg on top. Salsa on the side. SO good after spending a couple of hours on the beach that morning.

Dinner: Sushi at Origami

Elissa

Thursday

Breakfast: a yogurt-fruit-granola bowl made with dark cherry chai yogurt. Super yum!

dark cherry chai

Lunch: Lagerheads Beach Bar Рshared a hamburger with my man

Dinner: Abbodanza – Our friend Rick’s fav spot so we ate dinner together on our last night in Key West. I had the pasta primavera.¬†

Friday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, frozen cherries, strawberries and a vanilla agave yogurt cup.

Lunch: a lobster roll (local spiny lobster) at a small local fishery in Marathon, FL

Dinner: Sushi, edamame and miso soup in Jacksonsville, FL

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, protein powder, blueberries, pineapple and banana

Lunch: leftover pasta primavera

Dinner: The last of our Key West fresh-catch snapper. I roasted them with salt, pepper, EVOO and lemon slices. Fresh asparagus and pine nut cous cous on the side.