Saturday, January 25, 2014
Well, this could be the last 5 week photo post with baby still in tummy. My 40 weeks photo will hopefully be with baby in arms, but we shall see. This whole not knowing exactly when you might go into labor thing is really hard for an avid planner like myself. I'm hoping we get to meet Lawson sooner rather than later!
Posted by Southern Belle of the West at 8:37 PM
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Well, I have officially become obsessed with this new way of eating healthier via easy to grab mason jar meals! I'm not sure if it is some type of nesting instinct or me just freaking out while I watch the scales hit higher numbers than they have ever been before (yes, I am aware there is a baby growing in there), but never the less I would like to at least know that it is the baby more so growing than me, therefore I am making sure to eat as healthy as possible lately.
This has been a sure way to get in all the whole grains, fruits and veggies that are good for me AND baby! Also, super easy. Yes, it does take a day of prep work, but I'd rather do 1 dedicated day than 7 rushed days of scrambling last minute in the early AM to scrounge up some type of breakfast and lunch that just isn't nearly as tasty or nutritional. Somehow at those wee hours of the morning the processed granola bars and prepackaged 100 calorie packs seem so much easier to throw in the lunch bag than making a single serving of fresh fruit or veggies.
So, long story short, these jars have been a lifesaver so far this year and I plan to hopefully continue this method for a while and will post more fun and easy ideas as I go. Without further ado, my super simple fruit salad and ranch salad recipes...
Fruit Salad Jar
This is exactly what you might imagine and I know it sounds ridiculously easy but the fact is, if you have your fruit cut up and ready to eat this way, not only will you be way more likely to choose it over a lesser healthy pantry snack, but you will also get a lot more daily fruit intake into your diet, which is a definite plus with the peek of flu season here.
1. Cut up whatever fruits you love the most or are in season at the time and toss them in a large glass bowl, here some of are my favorites:
- ripe bananas (not green, not brown, just golden yellow status is preferred)
- organic blueberries
- organic strawberries
- fresh oranges (peeled and diced)
- diced apple slices (I'm lazy and get the organic TJ bag of precut apple slices and then cut them into thirds, who like to cut a whole apple anyway?!?)
- diced fresh or canned peaches (fresh for sure, when in season, or TJ cling halves in juice and then cut them into pieces)
2. Splash Trader Joe's "Orange Peach Mango" juice (or whatever brand of similar juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice works too) all over your fruit about a 1/4 of the way full or at least until all fruit is coated with it. This adds flavor and naturally preserves your fruit.
3. Drizzle as much or as little honey over your fruit, tossing intermittently, to bring out the fruits natural sweetness.
* you can then disperse evenly into your jars for the week and they last up to a week!
Ranch Salad Jar
Place ingredients into jar or container of choice in following order:
1. yogurt ranch dressing
2. shredded carrots
3. sliced cucumbers
4. cherry tomatoes
5. organic spinach
6. low fat shredded cheese blend
7. diced egg whites and crumbled turkey bacon (optional)
* shake before eating, these last up to a week unshaken
This is what your meals should look like when you are done...
Refrigerator Oatmeal Jar of choice
Fruit Salad Jar
Salad Jar of choice
Veggie jar of choice (your favorite veggies with ranch)
* I am in the process of making a healthy and easy granola bar recipe for an in between snack, to be posted next week :)
Friday, January 10, 2014
Well, I have recently had a couple of friends have babies and I wanted to bring them something, so I thought about what I would want and this is what I came up with. The main criteria was for it to be healthy and nutritious for both baby and mama cause I know they are going to need the energy and sometimes the typical heavy lasagna is not exactly the best pick me up meal!
Also, I thought about the fact that dinner is easy to pick up or order in but breakfast and lunch sometimes go overlooked and without those two meals you can't possibly keep up with breastfeeding and sleeplessness. Therefore, I decided to do the breakfast oatmeal jars and lunch salad jars :) The other great thing about these is, like the oatmeal jars, you can make them ahead of time all at once and then just grab them on the go throughout the week.
Cook a large batch of quinoa (or whatever pasta you desire... cheese filled spinach tortellini, whole wheat penne or brown rice would also be yummy). All of these ingredients below are available at Trader Joe's and are very reasonably priced!
Version 1: Caprese
1. Add a large spoonful of premade pesto to the bottom of your jar
2. Spoon in your cooked and cooled quinoa about 1/3 of the way full
3. Add a handful of organic cherry (or pearl) tomatoes about another 1/3 of the way full
4. Spoon in your drained mozzarella balls the last 1/3 of the way full
5. Top with fresh torn basil and drizzle a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top
* Cover with mason jar lid and refrigerate up to 5 days. You can either just shake these up right before you eat or empty them into a bowl or even toss on top of a bed of spinach and add a little more olive oil, balsamic salt and pepper, to taste. Also, you can make these whatever size you want, big or small!
Version 2: Mediterranean
1. Spoon in your cooked and cooled quinoa about 1/4 of the way full
2. Add a small layer of canned sundried tomatoes with a spoonful of the juice
3. Add a small layer of artichoke hearts
4. Add a small layer of kalamata olives
5. Add a small layer of chick peas
6. Add a small layer of goat or feta cheese that you crumble yourself (it's creamier that way)
7. Top with arugula and drizzle with olive oil
* Cover with mason jar lid and refrigerate up to 5 days. You can either just shake these up right before you eat or empty them into a bowl or even toss on top of a bed of arugula and add a little more olive oil, balsamic salt and pepper, to taste. Also, you can make these whatever size you want, big or small, and if there are any ingredients in this one that you don't like you can totally omit them :)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
This has become one of my new favorite on the go breakfast items! It is super easy to make a bunch of different variety oatmeal jars at one time for easy grabbing access all during the week. I think the blueberry peach cobbler one is my favorite but it is hard to say, I also really like the apple pie version and the strawberry banana one, too :) Here is how to make them and you can get creative with whatever you want to add into them.
In a medium bowl stir together 2 cups uncooked regular oats, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup of low fat greek yogurt, 1 and 1/4 cup of low fat milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
* This is your base recipe to follow, then you can either add your fruits in now if you are making only one version or divide it evenly into however many versions you want to make and add your toppings in separately. I split mine into 3 different bowls and this is what I added for each of my three versions.
Version 1: Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Stir in a decent amount of diced canned peaches and fresh blueberries, you can add a little of the peach syrup into it to for extra flavor. Disperse evenly between your mason jars and put the lids on firmly. Refrigerate overnight, good for up to 4 days, eat cold.
Version 2: Apple Pie
Stir in a decent amount of diced apples and a little bit of applesauce and cinnamon to taste. Disperse evenly between your mason jars and put the lids on firmly. Refrigerate overnight, good for up to 4 days, eat cold.
Version 3: Strawberry Banana
Stir in a decent amount of diced strawberries and bananas, you can even add a little bit of strawberry jam if you want. Disperse evenly between your mason jars and put the lids on firmly. Refrigerate overnight, good for up to 4 days, eat cold.