Pre-Baby Meal Planning

In an effort to make things easy when baby arrives, I pre-planned a bunch of meals that can be thrown in the oven along with some snacks for those 2 am feeding sessions. I am pretty sure that with everything else going on, trying to figure out dinner each night is not something we want to add to our figurative plates.  For those that were found on Pinterest or inspired by another recipe found there, I have linked back to the original posts as best as I can.  Or if you have a Plan To Eat account, friend me!  If you don’t, it’s seriously AMAZING and you can check it out here!  Here’s a rundown of what I made:

Snacks:

All of these recipes are “lactation” friendly recipes.  Lactogenic foods are those that are said to help increase milk supply.  It is very important to me to be able to nurse exclusively for the first 6 months and continue through the first year so I figure I’d do what I could to support the success of my goal.  Some of these foods include oats, brewers yeast, and flax seed which go great in baked goods!  If nothing else, my sweet tooth will be satisfied!  (some people swear by these, others say they don’t work.  If nothing else, they are healthy things to add to your diet.  Please see a certified lactation consultant for your specific concerns and questions.  Kellymom.com is also a resource that was provided by the lactation consultant who taught the breastfeeding class through my hospital.)

Brownies

Vegan Apple Pie Muffins I just used organic all purpose flour since I already had it instead of gluten free flour the recipe calls for.  These are actually my favorite of the ‘snack’ items I made.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins The first time I made these I used frozen blueberries since I already had them.  Fresh blueberries make these muffins so much better.

Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Dinners:

These are highly carb based so I do plan on sending the hubs out for fresh fruit and veggies, even if it’s just a side salad with each meal.  Thankfully it’s the start of farmers market season in my area!

Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf-from the cookbook Cravings.  Check out my previous post on this recipe here.

Mac N Cheese-Phil made this for me.  It’s based on a recipe from Morton’s The Cookbook.  He refuses to share his secrets 😉

Enchilada Bake-This is my own recipe that was evolved from a Mexican Lasagna recipe and my love of enchiladas but my dislike of rolling each individual filled tortilla.  I pretty much eyeball and taste test to get the right spice ratio.  It’s full of flavor and one of our favorites.  I made it with corn tortillas but I also love to use thinly sliced sweet potatoes to separate the layers.  Basically here’s your list:  ground beef, corn, black beans, green onions, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, cheese, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cilantro.

World’s Best Lasagna I made this with zucchini instead of pasta noodles to separate the layers.  To keep it from being too liquid-y, I drained the diced tomatoes and dried out the zucchini on the counter between layers of paper towels before assembling the meal.

Breakfast, lunch, and in between:

For breakfast I have been on a cereal kick.  Honey Nut Cheerios to be specific, with cashew milk and a sliced banana or blueberries.  I also stocked up on oatmeal and omelet supplies are on my “to purchase fresh” list.  My plan for lunches is either leftovers or sandwiches.  My latest sandwich craving is hummus, tomato, kale, avocado, and a slice of cheese.  We also stocked up on some frozen pizza, potstickers, ravioli, and chicken.  Costco has these great chicken salad cups that are the perfect size to make sandwiches out of that we have too, along with rice crackers, chips and salsa, string cheese, and fruit snacks.   Hopefully we are set to not have to run out to a drive thru too often.  Thankfully Safeway delivers and Raleys has e-cart and I am lucky that Phil is also a great cook!

Between what I have planned and those that have offered to bring by meals, I think we are set for at least the first few weeks!  My goal was to make good food that was filling and relatively healthy.  Did you meal plan pre-baby?  What were your favorite meals?

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shown above: 2 pans lasagna, 2 pans enchilada bake, 2 loaf pans of meatloaf, 1 batch of brownies, frozen cookie dough, and 1 frozen pizza.  Everything else is in the other freezer!

 

 

 

 

Cravings 

Buy this book!   

No, this is not a paid post, but I got this cookbook a few weeks ago ($15.99 on iBooks) and both Phil and I have loved the meals we’ve made from it!!

I knew of Chrissy Teigen as John Legend’s model wife and I have a friend who could be her Japanese doppelgänger. When I saw a few minutes of her as co-host of an awards show (MTV maybe??) last year I was really unsure how to take her personality. My first impression was loud, kind of vulgar, and in your face. Somehow, a few months ago I ended up following her Instagram feed. I don’t remember if I stumbled across it because of the upcoming cookbook or the fact that she’s also pregnant with a little girl and due not long before I am. Either way, I have come to respect and love her unapologetic responses to critics, her humor, love of life, and the adorable pictures she posts of her pups.

Without further ado, check out my thoughts on 4 recipes we’ve made.  I won’t post the full recipes, because copywrite laws and what not, but I promise the book is worth it!

1.  Crab Cakes Benedict

I have avoided Eggs Benedict because of the undercooked eggs while pregnant so I did vary this recipe a bit. It was still delicious and the fake hollandaise (not pictured-I got a little camera happy and took pictures too early!) has so many uses outside of this dish.  I added the sourdough English muffin and I fried my eggs instead of poaching them. I attempted a poached egg. It wasn’t pretty. Everything else was ready to go so frying up the eggs was the fastest way to get this in my belly while the crab cakes were still warm.

2. Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Almonds  I’m a big fan of Brussels sprouts even though I’m pretty sure I hated them as a kid.  They’re high in vitamins C and K along with being a good source of B vitamins.  I added an apple to the mix and it’s a great side or afternoon snack. If you were to add some protein, it’d be a great meal.  This is perfect as the weather warms up. It’s light, citrusy with a lemon dressing and full of flavor even with minimal ingredients.

3. Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts Even with my recent meat aversion this was good enough to finish off a small chicken breast. It’s full of gooey cheeses and has great flavor. The recipe called for bacon, which I left out because I made this on a week night and was looking for a way to cut down on prep time.  I also purchased thin cut breast filets instead of pounding regular chicken flat although even the thin cut could have been thinner in some areas. The tomatoes are a part of the recipe and they are so yummy with the cheese that melts out of the chicken. I don’t have any cast iron which is what she uses in the book, so I put it all in a Pampered Chef stoneware dish, added some asparagus and about 30 minutes later we dug in.

4.  Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf Again with the picture…this time I dished up our plates before remembering to grab my camera.  Meatloaf is one of those things you either love or hate. Until I had a roommate make it for me quite a few years ago after dental surgery I hated it. Hers was a good, classic style of meatloaf. This, is its spicier cousin. It has both beef and ground sausage and it’s delicious!  If you know me and know how my eating habits have evolved over the past few years this one probably shocks you. And who would have guessed that I wish I would have doubled up in the ketchup glaze?!  I’m not sure I even know myself to anymore. I blame the baby! 😉 I pretty much followed the recipe with the only real change being the dish it was cooked in because apparently we don’t own a loaf pan. It ended up working out though because the package of ground beef I had was a little over a pound, and this Le Creuset dish is a little shallower allowing the meat to cook faster.  I added cauliflower mash as the side to at least pretend we were trying to be on the healthier side.

Overall this has quickly become a favorite for new recipes. Skimming through, many of the recipes take a little longer than I like to spend on cooking on a weeknight after work but if you have a bit of extra time or are great at prep work this could easily work into a weekly meal routine.

Do you already have this book?  What’s your favorite recipe?!

Kona Coffee BBQ Rub

I have been back in California for about 7 months.  It’s been about the same amount of time since my last post (and boy has a lot happened!).  A piece of my heart will always be in Hawaii and maybe that’s why my return post (by complete coincidence) is Hawaii related!

With a little bit of planning I could easily be a vegetarian except every now and then I love a nice, good steak.  And, if you know me, you know that I also love coffee.  I am not sure how I have gone my whole life without combining the two but until about a week ago this was my truth.

This bad boy was brought home for me a few weeks ago and I cannot wait to try it on everything!  It’s SO good.  When you open the jar you can smell the coffee and the cayenne pepper.  I used it on a ribeye and when cooked it was a perfect blend of coffee, and lime with just a kick of cayenne.  As I type that, I realize it sounds like an odd combination but it is delicious!  If you, or someone you know is headed to Hawaii, request this souvenir. It’s worth it!

Honolulu Coffee Company, Kona Coffee BBQ Rub
Ingredients:  100% Kona Coffee, Sugar, Sea Salt, Chilies, Onion, Garlic, Lime, Chocolate, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika

For the ribeye, I just put the rub on all sides and let it sit out for about 40 minutes.  I have never been all that confident in my steak making abilities so when Phil got home I had him sear it on the Breville Smart Grill.  Typically I like my meat medium rare but being pregnant I had him cook it to a medium heat.

I paired it with butternut squash. Typically I buy the whole veggie because you get more bang for your buck and I typically don’t mind the prep. With butternut squash it’s hard to cut so I let someone else do it!  It’s such a time saver it’s worth the extra price. I got a precut pack from Safeway.  I added about 2 tbs Grapeseed Oil, Paprika, and a dash of Seasoning Salt. Baked on 375 until soft and it paired perfectly with the beef!

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