There is a storm brewing here today. The wind is picking up and there is a wind warning. Crazy wind storms remind me of when Sawyer was born. He finally decided to make his exit on March 11, after eight days of overstaying his welcome. The following day was the once in 30 years storm. We were fairly sheltered from it all. The hospital has generators to maintain electricity and the building is big enough not to notice much of the noise and chaos (plus it is hard not to stare at your new baby all the time). We were told our midwife was unable to discharge us due to trees down on the road. There was some talk that the power may be temporarly off at our house. Another midwife in the practise was able to come in and send us on our way. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, we realized the true magnitutde of the storm.
We headed to my parent's to pick up Hudson. They were hudled under blankets with jackets on to stay warm. According to BC Hydro's website we weren't scheduled to get back on the grid until the following afternoon. Super cold, dark house and one day old baby = no way. After a few quick phone calls it was determined that the Coast Discovery Inn had power. We booked in for the night. Our new family of four headed downtown. I remember thinking that if this had of been my first baby, and I was spending the first night out of the hospital in a hotel room, I would have hyperventilated.
It ended up being a great night. I had a nice, hot shower and got cozy in the bed I shared with my sweet, sweet baby boy. The breakfast buffet the next morning was perfect. Our midwife Sheila came to the hotel the following afternoon for Sawyer's first check-up. By then my parents had power again. We stayed with them for a few more nights until ours was back on. It was so nice to finally return to our own house with our two boys.
For a while we referred to Sawyer as Thor; the god of thunder, lightening and storms.
Stormy weather makes me want comfort food. Warm, hearty, make your house smell good, food. My Mom's side of the family has been making Beans 'N Stuff (yes that is what we call it) for as long as I can remember. It is a slow cooker staple at casual family gatherings in winter and summer. I decided I needed to make it, and of course make it a little more healthy. I have no idea where the original recipe came from.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 onion, chopped
2-3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup vinegar
19 oz. canned stewed tomatoes (low sodium preferrably)
16 oz. canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz. baked beans with pork (or baked beans on tomato sauce)
1 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Tabasco sauce to taste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Brown ground turkey with celery and onion. Combine with remainig ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You can do this on the stove top as well. The longer it simmers the better.
The best way to describe this is zesty, it isn't at all the flavour of a chili. Use any combo of beans you have on hand or that you prefer. I have tried chick peas, black beans, kidney beans and navy beans, all great. This can be made with extra lean ground beef if you prefer or vegetarian. The beans provide more than enough protein with added fiber bonus. I found I didn't need to add any salt as the beans in tomato sauce provided more than enough. It is great the next day and freezes well. Of course I loved it. Hudson ate around the beans (so turkey) and Sawyer loved it (we have yet to find something he won't eat).
Grab a blanket and light a fire (or in my case turn on the fire), Thor is at it again. Stay warm and dry.
Last post I discussed the things I like and don’t like (loved all the feedback and comments that post generated). I am sure you noticed things like yoga, working out at the gym on my not enjoy list. People often assume that I eat healthy and am fit and active. I do eat healthy, but fit and active, not so much. I find fitting regular activity into my life difficult. It isn’t even a time thing, I just don’t feel like it for the most part. I know all the benefits and reasons for activity, but at 7:00 pm they are not always convincing enough. When I have spare time I want to read a book. Having two small boys I am often on the move. I am not sitting with my feet up for the most part. At the same time I know I am not getting my heart rate up or breaking a sweat. My husband is one of those people that doesn’t have trouble building activity into his life. He chooses goals like doing a triathlon or running a marathon and works towards that goal (the wallpaper on his iPad is his training schedule). Marathons, triathalons, so not for me.
I know the activity that I am more likely to enjoy and therefore stick with. I need a class with a start time. I also like a group and music. I grew up taking dance classes so those things feel right to me. That being said I have a three month pass to Stereo Fitness waiting to be started. Since August....no joke. I have managed to create legitimate reasons (to myself) why the present month was not the month to start. I went to some classes while I was pregnant with Sawyer and loved them. I had every intention of starting back up as soon as my midwife gave the go ahead. They even offer child care.
Stereo Fitness is currently running a fabulous health and wellness challenge. Last night was the kick off. The participants were given their challenges and were introduced to the Health and Wellness Squad, which I am included in. It was inspring to see so many people excited about making healthful changes in their lives without the focus being on weight loss alone. Well guess what? It was enough to kick my sedentary butt into gear, drop the excuses and get active. It is about damned time.
Back to food. At my son's playschool parents take turn making snacks for the entire class. For my turn I decided on Pineapple Carrot Mini-Muffins and a fruit tray.
Directions:Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, soda and cinnamon. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry blend until moist. Do not overmix. Spoon into muffin pans (greased) and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees farenheit. Adapted from here.
I made a double batch because it used up the whole can of pineapple and I love to have muffins in the freezer. Compared to the original recipe these muffins are higher in fiber, lower in sugar, fat and sodium. I also like that there is a variety of fruit and veg in them. The pineapple makes them very moist. A double batch made 36 mini muffins and 12 regular muffins. The mini muffins were perfect in my oven between 15 and 20 minutes of baking.
They were a hit, no leftovers sent home. One of Hudson's class mates called them "delicious". These are a great on the go snack, or work as a part of breakfast or lunch.
Not to be outdone by active husband, the wallpaper on my iPad is the Stereo Fitness class scedule. Hope to see you there!
Tiffany McFadden, RD