I knew I would be back to the blog this week. Baby is inching closer to the exit but does not appear to be in a big hurry to get out. I foresee this being the case 30 years from now, but the exit will be from our home. This has given me more opportunity to nest: lots of cooking, baking, cleaning obscure things, etc. I have also been on a photo printing, framing, hanging mission. I hadn't done too much since we moved into our house, so I was sitting on a stockpile of amazing photos. We have a gallery wall in our kitchen/dining room that I finally added to...I cannot even tell you how happy it makes me. We spend a lot of time in those rooms. To be reminded of our wedding, honeymoon, vacations, pregnancies, new baby, growing son, our friends and families, really is the best thing ever. You need to do it. If you need more convincing or ideas check out Erin Wallis' Blog here. That is my non-food related rant/friendly encouragement for the week.
Meatloaf was never in the regular meal rotation when I was growing up, but I know for a lot of others it was. I have made a few attempts over the years at turkey meatloaf. I was never sold on the final product. Until now....welcome to my life Salsa Stuffed Meatloaf, meatloaf with a Mexican flair.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup drained canned black beans, rinsed
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pinch salt
1 lb ground turkey, chicken or extra-lean beef
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In large bowl, combine bread crumbs, onion, garlic, black beans, chili powder, pepper, salt and egg. Mix in turkey. Shape into 12 balls (I used an ice cream scoop). Place each in lightly greased muffin cup.
With spoon, make indentation in centre of each; fill with salsa and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in 400°F oven until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted in centre of meat reads 160°F, about 15 minutes. Adapted from here.
These little guys have a ton of flavour, a fiber boost from the beans and are low in saturated fat when made with ground chicken or turkey. Because they are baked in a muffin tin the cooking time is a lot faster then a loaf pan, so dinner is on the table faster. I served them with some homemade guacamole and the Mexican rice from a previous post (recipe here). Throw in a quick salad or some cut up veggies and you are done. The kiddos will love them for sure.
Now I am not so sure I will be back next week? I have not yet decided how often I am going to update my blog once baby boy arrives. I think I will take a little break, but I know I am going to miss it. As I have mentioned before I love sitting down to write my weekly entry. We will see how things go. I would also like to thank you all for your labour and delivery well wishes, I really appreciate it.
All of a sudden I am 38 weeks pregnant. In other words 2 weeks and away from my due date. Of course it isn't all of a sudden, but it still has a way of sneaking up on you. The last week has been spent finishing room details for both boys, organizing newborn baby clothes (which includes gushing over how small newborn diapers are), making appointments for the dentist, a massage and a pedicure (don't want to look at ugly toes when I am in labour). My parents were also kind enough to have our house cleaned top to bottom. There are meals in the freezer, the infant car seat is clean and ready to be used to safely bring home another amazing little boy, the house/car are clean and I have almost packed my hospital bag. I dare say I feel ready.
Then I think about the whole delivery idea. I have done this before, but I don't know if that makes me feel any more ready for it. I also feel like a newbie in someways. When I had Hudson my water broke with no labour so I was induced. I am hoping to go into labour myself this time which would allow me to spend a little longer at home. The one thing I did learn is that you can hope for a lot of things but you don't have a lot of control over the process. Sometimes your water breaks with no labour, sometimes you need to get induced, sometimes baby is posterior, sometimes baby has a short umbilical cord that leads to fetal distress, sometimes forceps are used, and sometimes you tear. But most of the time there is a healthy baby at the end bringing on the biggest wave of emotion you have ever felt. I am ready for that. In the mean time every Braxton Hicks contraction or twinge I feel I wonder...is this it?
When a friend announced on Facebook that she had made Raspberry Cream Cheese Quinoa Muffins, I had to get the recipe. And get it I did....worth sharing.
1/2 c quinoa
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 oz cold light cream cheese, diced small
1 c frozen raspberries
1/2 c white or cane sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 c light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave covered pot on burner for 15 mins, fluff with fork and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400, line muffin pan with paper liners. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda in medium bowl, blend well. Add 1 1/4c of cooked quinoa and mix until its evenly coated with flour mixture. Stir in the cream cheese, breaking up any large pieces. The cream cheese should remain chunky in these muffins. Add the frozen raspberries and coat in flour mixture, set aside
In large bowl whisk sugar and oil together, followed by the egg. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combined. Spoon the dough evenly into muffin pan. Bake on the center rack for 25-27 mins until muffins are light brown around edges and toothpick comes out clean. Store in a sealed container in fridge up to 1 week or freeze. Makes 12. Adapted from Quinoa 365.
I reduced the amount of sugar and eliminated the salt. When I made them I doubled the batch, I like to have muffins in my freezer at all times. This is a great recipe if you have leftover quinoa around. These were really, really good. They have a really nice texture. And can you really beat the raspberry cream cheese combo?
Maybe I will see you here next week, maybe I won't. I have a feeling I will.
My son's second birthday is fast approaching, which leads me to another date: July 2, 2003. This was when it was announced that Vancouver had won its bid for the 2010 Olympic Games. I remember being at work, sitting ay my lab bench in Victoria, listening to it all on the radio. My line of thought quickly wondered about 2010: where would I be, with who, doing what? So much could change in seven years.
Change it does. As the games inched closer I met and married my husband, moved to Vancouver, finally finished my post-secondary education, was working as a dietitian and was starting to think about babies. There were many announcements on the radio that the organizers of the Opening Ceremonies were looking for anyone and everyone to audition with whatever talent they had. I thought why not? It would be so much fun to be involved in some way. As an aside: I am a huge Olympics fan. I am not a sports watcher in general, but something about the Olympics captivates me and I will watch any sport at any time of the night or day. My husband also decided to audition. He was grouped under the talent hockey player (?) and I was in the dance group. We both had a lot of fun at our auditions, an experience in itself.
About a month after the audition I found out I was pregnant and due February 11, 2010. The Opening Ceremonies were set for February 12, 2010. My dreams of stardom were dashed. It was an unlikely dream as I was not selected anyways. BUT my husband, the tag along auditioner, talent hockey player, was selected. Not only selected, but chosen to be one of the people who leads a country's athletes into the arena for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, humf. We discussed at length whether he should commit given the fact I was due to deliver the day before. In the end we decided what are the chances? He took the opportunity.
As baby was getting closer to arrival the rehearsals really started to gear up. It was decided that Braden would be bringing in the athletes from Estonia (of course he was hoping for Canada). As a family member of a performer I got to attend the dress rehearsal on February 8th. It was amazing, unforgettable. I have never cheered so much for Estonia. After all the Skytraining, walking, security checks and excitement of the night my water broke at 1:10 am. Hudson William was born February 10th at 3:56 am.
Braden made it to the Opening Ceremonies, no problem. I watched on my tiny hospital TV, cradling our newborn son...enjoying the moment and realizing this is where I was seven years later.
You can watch Braden's big debut here from the 39:58 point to about 40:35.
Now I am finally getting to a recipe...I am sure you sure thinking get on with it already! Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup...yum.
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-6 jalapeno peppers, minced (I used 2 as I am feeding a small person, but this is up to your taste)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 can tomato paste
1 cup grated monterey jack or cheddar cheese
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
cilantro, chopped for garnish if desired
Tortilla chips, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except cheese and sour cream into a four liter capacity or bigger slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or 3-4 hours on high. Add cheese and sour cream immediately before serving and stir to melt cheese. If desired garnish with cilantro, tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream and a little cheese. Adapted from here (there are also instructions here a for stove top method).
Perfect for so many reasons: great Mexican flavour, easy in the slow cooker and makes leftovers.
And of course a huge, happy second birthday Hudson.
Husband has returned from Mexico safe and sound, full of "hilarious" stories. Just in case you were worried. In the end I was happy to have some one-on-one time with my son. I know his time as an only child is winding down. I find myself gazing at him and wondering how he will handle the transition to his new role of big brother. This line of thinking often leads to how I am going to the handle the transition to mother of two. I remember the early days of motherhood teaching me a lot things about myself. I for sure wasn't as flexible as my resume claimed. I like routines. That makes me sound like a bore, but it is true. I also like to feel like I am getting something done, I have an annoying check list floating in my head at all times (just ask my husband). Routines and getting anything done beyond the basics in the early days of baby are pretty unrealistic, at least I know that now. Sometimes it is the expectations that get us, so this time around I am setting low expectations on all fronts ;)
During all my wondering/pondering Hudson has decided he is not really a huge fan of mixed dishes anymore. He once would devour spaghetti, soup, chili and stir-fry. Now one look and a few very cautious bites is all he needs (this happenes to dietitian’s children too). We eat a lot of these one dish sort of meals. I am not about to change the way we eat to accommodate our little man at all times, this like everything is a phase. He will not starve himself. At the same time there are things that I can make that will please the whole family. Enter Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers. What kid, or adult for that matter, doesn’t like chicken fingers. Easy to eat with your hands and perfect for dipping.
2 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard (any variety)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups panko crumbs
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, honey, garlic powder and paprika. Stir until combined.
Trim the chicken breasts of excess fat and slice diagonally into 1/2 inch thick strips. Place the sliced chicken in a bag or bowl with half of the honey mustard sauce and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or over night.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (you can use foil instead). Pour the panko crumbs into a wide, shallow bowl.
One by one, coat the chicken strips with panko crumbs. Do not wipe off excess honey mustard sauce before coating with panko, the sauce helps it adhere. Arrange on baking sheet. Discard the leftover honey mustard sauce that the chicken was marinating in.
Bake the chicken strips in the oven until the crumbs have turned golden brown (about 25-30 minutes).
Serve warm with the reserved half of the honey mustard sauce.
Adapted from here.
These were really, really good. I let the chicken marinate for a couple hours, which really added flavour and tenderness. The original recipe used only mayonnaise but I cut it with sour cream to reduce the saturated fat and add some zing. There was quite a bit of honey mustard sauce, I think you could easily do four chicken breasts with out having to make more sauce. You can use regular bread crumbs, but I love the light, crispy texture panko crumbs bring. Most importantly: Hudson approved.
This week we also had maternity photos done with Erin Wallis. Her talent and creativity seem to have no end. I owe her a huge thank you for letting me step out of the daily slog of late pregnancy and see it through her eyes and for what it really is...a big, beautiful miracle.
Tiffany McFadden, RD