Hungry Hungry Hippie

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The weekly menu

This one will be a bit different because we were in the hospital for part of the week.  And then we got home and were treated to a couple of meals (take out from my mom and home-made from my girlfriend).

A word about those people before I continue with the food stuff…oh my GOSH our support system!  I can’t even begin to put into words how blessed Kyle and I feel to have such incredible family and friends supporting us in so so many ways.  It’s been a phenomenal, invaluable, and just plain mind blowing gift.  I have no doubt it has already saved me endless amounts of stress and therefore relieved SO MUCH of the strain that accompanies such massive life changes.  I could gush forever about the kindness, but instead I will focus on paying it forward.  I know I will some way in the future.

SO.

Saturday (pre-labor) we did allllll our weekly grocery shopping including Costco, TJs, and WFs (three stores back to back to back with a 40 week preggo and 2 year old is quite a Saturday I’ll tell you what!).  Once we hauled everything home and unpacked, Kyle grilled some yummies for us on the BBQ while we all played outside.

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I used this marinade for the shrimp (minus the scallions).

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Kyle made them perfect.

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Since P is an a no shrimp phase we bought chicken for him.  He ate one leg and the rest I shredded for leftovers throughout the coming week.

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I’m sure you recognize this salad by now…

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And that’s dinner!

Dessert included chocolate from my target binge.

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I’d never heard of Russel Stover but these were delish.  I mean, totally disgusting junk food delish, but delish just the same.  I had some Reese’s peanut butter cups too.  And probably chocolate sun butter bites also because I doubt the above filled me up enough.

Sunday morning I went into labor so (not surprisingly) I don’t have many pics from the day.  I felt minor contractions from 6:45 am on, but wasn’t sure they were real until around 8:30.  Kyle and I went on our usual jog to Safeway(‘s Starbucks) for coffee/tea and on the way home I called my mom to tell her it was likely happening today.  She (and my sister/dad) were on stand by to take P in the event we had to go to the hospital so they were at the ready.  But it wasn’t urgent or anything so I told her I’d call when I felt like the timing was more imminent.  Back at home I made us breakfast, and we went about our normal morning routine..just with some cramping added in.  :)

After lunch my mom came over and then the contractions got more real.  We went to the hospital around 3 pm, at which point I was pretty certain we were going way prematurely (but the hospital is almost an hour away so, ya know, better be safe…).  My contractions weren’t as horrible as they were with P and while they definitely hurt (duh) they were bearable and so I figured we were jumping the gun.  Turns out, not so.  I was admitted as soon as they checked me.  Anyway, I may or may not blog about that part in detail later, but for now I’ll get back to the food.

We spent two nights in the hospital (eating mostly take away from the Roseville WF) and came home early Tuesday afternoon.  While in the hospital and away from P I took full advantage and ate ALL THE ALLERGENS.  Basically I lived off hummus and Mary’s Gone crackers.  Oh hummus, you are so so missed.

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The hospital eats weren’t amazing, but they did have vegetarian and gluten free options.

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I dipped the green beans in hummus, so obviously they were yummy.  But then the tofu and noodles were bland so I added hummus to those too.

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How cute are those little grape packets?  Those are tofu and black bean enchiladas.  Meh.

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Both breakfasts were from WF (eggs and potatoes times two).  And the above dinner was as well (chicken and brown rice and baby carrots and dark chocolate covered almonds).

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As you can see we accumulated a lot of food in just 2 days.  Breast feeding makes me huuuuungry.

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And then we got to go home!

My mom treated us all to sushi that first night back home.  It was awesome.  I don’t have photos.

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The next night was Wednesday so obviously we had to hit up the farmer’s market.  Sadly, the few options I really wanted weren’t there so I settled for a corn dog from The Hotdogger.  With several different kinds of mustard.  Some were too spicy.  Since it was a big trip just to get us all to market we didn’t stay very long.  Took the food home and ate while feeding P because I couldn’t wait.

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On Thursday night my girlfriend brought us food.  She’s the best.  As you can see, the plates were labeled with allergens and P had his own plate (plain ground beef, wild rice and tomatoes, sautéed bell peppers/onions), with gluten free tortillas (they had soy so P couldn’t actually have them but we took care of them).

The rest of the plates had ground beef (with seasoning), black beans, corn, lettuce, and cheese (in a baggy because Kyle is the only one who eats dairy).

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I made a taco salad kind of thing and added mega avo and salsa on top.  It was so easy and so yummy!  And the best part of all was P ate EVERYTHING and I didn’t even have to worry about his allergies because my friend totally understands our (his) food sitch.

She also brought me beer (hops for milk supply!), ginger chews, and lots of TJs chocolate.

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I just can’t even get over the love.

This was also one of the very few times P has eaten “assembled’ food (as in not just a mise en place of all the separate ingredients used in the meals I made).  So much progress in one small meal.

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On Friday night I MADE A MEAL!  I actually cooked chicken and chopped things and stuff.

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I think this is actually worthy of a blog post!  I made it up and Kyle and I were both digging it.

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I meant to use roasted chickpeas for the protein, but I had to use chicken because (a) Patty-cakes ate all the ones I previously roasted and (b) we had chicken that needed to be used asap.

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And on Saturday our neighbor brought us chicken, couscous, and asparagus.  It. Was. So. Yummy.  (!!!!)

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I’m asking for the recipe for the chicken because oh my yum.  I even ate the couscous despite the gluten because I am not in the position to turn down carbs right now.   Or ever really, but for wheat containing food that I didn’t have to cook myself, I’m especially lenient right now.

Now it’s time to get organized and plan things out so I can dip into the freezer stash as Kyle goes back to work and I adjust to mom-ing my two babes.

Freezer Meals

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Last time I was pregnant I wasn’t very good at preparing meals in advance.  I wasn’t terrible – we had some leftovers in mason jars – but not a lot and nothing super organized.  This time around I tried to get my ducks in a row before sh!t hit the fan and we had TWO KIDS.  Starting back in December I planned a meal or two extra into each weekly menu and cooked it and froze it for the postpartum period.  In case anyone else is in the same boat (for yourself or another new mama) here are the recipes I made:

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Red Lentil Coconut Curry Stew [vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free]

[based on this recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used garlic infused)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 knob of ginger, grated
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils, cooked
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

If you haven’t cooked the lentils in advance (I did so in my rice cooker with vegetable broth), add an extra 2 cups vegetable broth to the recipe and add both when directed.

Saute onion with spices in olive oil until translucent.  Add coconut milk and vegetables and cook for a few minutes.  Add lentils and vegetable broth and cook until sweet potatoes are soft (and lentils are cooked).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: top with fresh cilantro.

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This made two 8×8 dishes worth, which will be at least a few servings worth for our family’s generous appetites. :)

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Green Salsa Turkey Enchilada Casserole [gluten free, nut free, soy free, seed free]

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 16 small corn tortillas
  • 2 12 oz jars salsa verde
  • 16 oz plain greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 8 oz chèvre goat cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sauté ground turkey in a pan until browned throughout.

Grease a large casserole dish with non-stick spray or oil.

Layer (ripped up pieces of) tortilla, salsa, cheeses, and turkey (and then repeat once more – or until ingredients run out).  Make sure top layer is not plain tortilla.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Notes: I made this in two 8×8 pans but one 9×12 dish should work just as well.  Cooking time may vary.  I meant to add corn too but didn’t realize it until after they were in the oven – oops!  Pregnancy brain?

Lentils or black beans could be subbed for ground turkey to make vegetarian.

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Wrapped up and off to the freezer they went.

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Crock-pot Beef Ragu [gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, seed free]

I used this recipe for the meat ragu and cooked it in the crock pot for 15 hours on low (more than in the recipe because I used chuck roast instead of rump roast).  Then I shredded it and froze it in (four) portions in ziplock bags.  I figured I could make noodles or polenta or something to serve it over quickly when the time came.  This is a good one for the whole family.

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I’m super excited to eat this one because it smelled AMAZING while it simmered away in the slow cooker.  I’m also thrilled with how much it yielded.  Seriously, it will be at least four meals for the family.

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I also made allergy free cornbread (using Bob’s Red Mill GF mix with coconut milk) and froze that because it’s a simple side dish.  It may or may not be what accompanies this ragu, but it’s good to have on hand either way.  I love cornbread and so do both boys.

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Quickbreads are definitely a staple in our breakfast rotation, so I have been stock piling them in the freezer as well.  Mostly I’ve been making banana bread (I have about 10 in there at this point) because I have a go-to allergy friendly recipe that P and I both like with no added sweeteners (aside from banana), but I decided to mix things up a bit and make a quick bread just for me.

Pineapple Yogurt Quick Bread [gluten free, oil free]

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz pineapple greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp stevia more fiber baking blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients then add in wet ingredients.  Stir until combined then pour into a greased baking pan (I used a large loaf pan but I think a small one would work because it was a really flat loaf – alternately you could make it into muffins but reduce baking time).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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I’m sure any flavor greek yogurt would work here, I just happened to have this one on hand and thought it sounded different and yummy.  I’ve also been stevia free throughout pregnancy (due to the potential (but not proven) impact of stevia on hormones) so I figured having a stevia recipe waiting for me would be a nice postpartum treat.  The yogurt is sweetened so not much was needed.

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Definitely a flat loaf thanks to the dense nature of the ingredients, but appearances aren’t everything.  :)

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Is quinoa casserole a thing?  Can we make it one?

I’m not sure what to call this dish to be honest.  It’s based off my quinoa quiche but I made it in a way larger quantity and added sausage for even more calories (quinoa quiche never holds me over very long).

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Quinoa and Sausage Bake [gluten free]

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale
  • 4 andouille sausages, halved and sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 oz. crumbled goat feta (or sheep cheese if you tolerate it)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable puree (ie squash, pumpkin, cauliflower, tomato paste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Pour into greased baking dish (either 8×11 or 9×13 will work but baking times may vary due to thickness).

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.  You may want to put tin foil on top towards the end to prevent top from over browning.

Notes:  If you sub 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (with liquid) for the chopped cherry tomatoes you can omit the vegetable puree portion.

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Voila!

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Chocolate Almond Banana Bread [gluten free, dairy free]

Ingredients:

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp NuNaturals liquid stevia cocoa syrup

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Add in eggs and coconut oil and mix together.  Add in the dry ingredients and stir til combined.  Stir in liquid stevia (it’s basically NuNaturals version of chocolate syrup).  Depending on the size and ripeness of your bananas you may need more/less almond flour.  The texture should be a thick but still semi-pour-able batter.  Pour into greased large loaf baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for ~40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Chocolate and bananas, what’s not to love??

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I made this because I was already making a crab dip for a Superbowl party and thought it would be an easy thing to double and toss into pasta and freeze for later.  The dip was great, so I’m sure the pasta verso will be too.

Crab and Artichoke Dip Pasta [gluten free, lactose free, nut free, soy free]  very loosely adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz crab meat
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped (plus 1 tbsp reserved liquid)
  • 1/2 cup lactose free sour cream (I used Green Valley organics)
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise (read labels to get one without soybean oil)
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped kale
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound gluten free pasta

Directions:

Cook pasta.  Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients (for the crab artichoke dip).

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, fold in the crab dip until it is well mixed.  Then add it to a large baking dish and either freeze or bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Until golden on top.  [I frozen mine, so I’ll bake it once it’s ready to be eaten.]

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Along the same lines, I also made a tuna casserole dish.

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Here’s the final product topped with nooch…

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I didn’t measure things, but I cooked a huge pot of gluten free pasta and then tossed it with an entire jar of vegan mayo, a few cans of tuna, peas, garlic infused olive oil, and nutritional yeast.  I’ll bake it once I’m ready to dig in, but for now it’s int he freezer as is.

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And since you can’t have too many easy to grab snacks while breastfeeding I made a batch of raw vegan date/walnut/pecan/coconut/cocoa bars.  Again, no measurements – just threw things in the food processor until the consistency was right.

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Man are walnuts and pecans ever oily!  I used my hand to press them into the parchment paper lined baking sheet before chilling them and slicing them…and just look at my hand!

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Wowzers.

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I also made a dozen raw vegan oatmeal bites for quick snacking – they had whole rolled oats, chia seeds, almond butter, sun butter, raisins, stevia, and shredded coconut.  I didn’t measure anything, just went with the “stir til the consistency is right” method.  I left them raw and froze them in little balls.  I suppose when the time comes I could either eat them raw or bake them into cookies.

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I also made a massive batch of allergy free waffles and after P and I had our fill one morning I froze the rest for easy breakfasts later.

Other things I made (or bought) to freeze ahead of time:

-15+ banana quick breads (I have made two a week consistently since October and frozen one each time) so we have a large stash.  Most are allergen friendly, but a few use almond flour and are for me.

-TJ’s chicken sausage (they are a favorite of P’s and they are so easy)

-cashew squash “cheese” sauce (I had a bunch of unused squash that I roasted in October and needed to do something with it).  It’s in a large mason jar.

-savory quick breads (2 mini loaves and 6 muffins)

-almond flour pumpkin bread

-simple mills chocolate almond muffins

-GF rice crisp/chex treats with chocolate chunks

-allergy free sugar cookies

-date/nut energy bites (balls, cookies, whatever you want to call them)

-bulk meat (bought when various stores had good sales – organic grass fed ground beef, organic chicken breasts, bacon)

-walnut pesto (dairy free, divided into smaller portions and then frozen in baggies)

-frozen salmon, veggie burgers, beef burgers, chicken breasts

-lactation cookies

-raw sunbutter/almond butter oatmeal raisin bites

-vegetarian soups/stews (from TJs and Costco)

-bulk frozen fruit (bananas, kiwi, berries), and jams/preserves

-ice cubes of fresh squeezed lemon, orange, and coconut milk

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Most of this food I wrapped in tin foil or kept stored in disposable bakeware, but I also was re-gifted (an unused/unopened) vacuum sealer by my mom, which was awesome for things like bulk purchased meat, cookies/treats, etc.

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Check out the fridge now!

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I know it may seem excessive, but I’d rather be over prepared than under.  Kyle doesn’t get any official paternity leave so while he will be as flexible and supportive as possible, I know getting to the grocery store in those early weeks will be a serious mission.  It doesn’t hurt to have supplies stocked to help with the transition from a family of three to a family of four.

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Fab Four

My heart is exploding with love and I just wanted to pop in to share the news…

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Our threesome is now a foursome.  :)

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And we could not be happier.

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This labor and birth was totally different than my first and was (to be concise) a dream come true.  I’ll be back at some point.  <3

The weekly menu

Another gorgeoussssss weekend of sun and outside time as a fam bam.  Happy days for sure.  Spring in Davis has me all up in the best mood ever.  And guess what!?!  Farmer’s market returned on Wednesday nights this week!  It continues year round on Saturday mornings, but the Wednesday night sessions are the absolute best.

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Evening picnics with babies and food and music and fun makes me adore the town we live in more than any other place ever.  OK, ok, the dinner menu.

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Saturday night Kyle grilled chicken (again) and we all hung out outside (he manned the BBQ while I fed P and made the side salad).

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Guess what’s baaaaaaack!!!

My favorite salad of all time that basically reigned supreme all last summer.   Aka my mom’s famous poppyseed cantaloupe avocado salad.  So goooooood.

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Kyle grilled a family pack of chicken which included 2 bone-in skin on breasts and 4 drumsticks, and I assumed it would be way too much meat for our little three some.  Ummm…nope!  P ate all the drumsticks, except for a tiny bit of one!

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Plus melon and avo from our salads, and leftover cornbread.

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Here’s my delicious dinner.  I couldn’t finish the chicken (saved leftovers for P) but went back for seconds of salad.

The marinade was the same as last week’s – all stuff from the garden including lemon juice, rosemary, and thyme (and olive oil not from the garden).  ;)

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The next night was al fresco action…complete with Udi’s GF baguette, fig jam, hard boiled eggs, Spanish goat cheese (Murcia Curado from WF), Toscano cheese with black pepper (for K), smoked salmon, grapes, and (in the box) leftover focaccia from lunch with my dad (also for K).

P had the salmon, eggs, grapes, and Udi’s baguette with fig jam.  I got salami and roasted green beans too but forgot to bring them out!  Fail!  Obviously they’ll make an appearance next week since al fresco is back for-eh-ver.

Aren’t weekends just the best!?!

And even though it doesn’t relate to the dinner menu this post is meant to share, I figured I may as well…

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Share our family breakfast from Sunday.  Saturdays are too chaotic with swimming in the morning so Sundays are the one shot for a leisurely morning thang.  I first heard about Namaste Foods from HEAB (she recommended their pizza dough mix).  The price was decent and the ingredients are safe for P (and the facilities are free of every allergen, including gluten, wheat, soy, corn, potato, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and casein).  It was slightly crunchier than my idea of a perfect waffle, but for a boxed mix it was good enough.  P liked it too, so that’s a win.

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This was my first helping.  With Earth Balance piled high.  No syrup.

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P had Earth Balance and syrup on his because he asked and sometimes I’m a sucker.  What can I say.  He owns me.

Back to dinners!

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I was soooo not in the mood to cook the next night, but I pulled it together for the sake of my fam.  Kyle had pork ragu leftovers with polenta (above) but I wasn’t in the mood for meat.

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I sautéed collards with wild rice and shared it with P.  I served mine with a pair of fried eggs on top.

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The next night was St. Patrick’s Day so I made a pseudo colcannon using chard from the garden.  This is literally 5% of the current yield.  Our greens will not quit and it is awesomeeeee.

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My boys were quite pleased with this dish because it involved pig in the form of both ground meat AND bacon fat.  I used bacon fat in the colcannon (dairy would have made it authentic but that’s not an option for my gut or Mr. P’s allergies).  The potatoes were boiled in water until they were soft enough to smash with a spoon.  Then I drained them, added in the chopped greens, and waited until they steamed before mixing it all in together.

We had market the next night and I got my old favorite from Buckhorn Grill, but the broccoli slaw wasn’t the same as last year’s and I was kinda bummed.  Next week I think I’ll go with something new…maybe fare from The Hotdogger or Our House, which are also stand by’s for moi.  Kyle got pizza that I wanted to shove in my face too, but again, dairy.  Sigh.  I brought food for P because I still don’t trust anything I don’t prepare.  I also baked cookies and brought them with some wine because I wanted to do something special for Kyle’s birthday.

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We had more after P went down back at home while getting our TV time on.

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Kyle’s birthday dinner request was fried chicken and Caesar salad, so here’s my version.

I don’t deep fry or use buttermilk or any of that jazz, so it’s not exactly the “fried chicken” that the South would embrace, but it’s one of the ways I cook chicken that he loooooves and so that is all that matters.

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I told P they were nuggets and of course he wanted in on the action (battered in corn flour, unsweetened shredded coconut, and salt – pan fried in olive oil).  Enjoyed while watching March Madness.

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No shakshuka this week because I accidentally used up all the eggs on baking projects this week.

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I made muffins and donuts twice because P finished off everything above in a mere four breakfasts.  Plus I had mega browning bananas.  Serendipity!  I didn’t take pics of the rest of the baking but I made pancakes for me on most days too, plus another plantain baked thing.

Dessert situation…

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Oh buddy, this ice cream…

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Kyle asked for mocha something or other so I went all out and made mocha almond fudge…with 2 cans full fat coconut milk, 1 cup decaf coffee, 1/2 cup sugar (dissolved in the coffee before it cooled), 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup chocolate brown rice syrup.

The syrup sunk to the bottom so when I served it I added a ton to the top before serving it too.  I will not tell you how many servings this was (hint, not four).

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Which is why I am glad I made cookies too (gluten free, dairy free, etc.) AND brownies.

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Oh and then I had the idiotic idea to go to Target at 40 weeks pregnant, which led to this.

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I have no words.  Just happy taste buds.

The weekly menu

Saturday night was an easy one – sushi!!!!

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We had birthday parties (yes, plural) and swimming class which took up the whole day so cooking wasn’t happening.  Plus the weather was gorgggggeous, I wanted to be outside not in the kitchen.

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Sunday we went shopping for the week’s groceries (minus the stuff I got at WF later in the week) but otherwise was a mellow day.  We hit up the park in the late afternoon with some friends but didn’t stay long because Kyle was BBQing our dinner.

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On the left is perfectly grilled chicken (I marinated it in olive oil with both lemon juice and herbs from the garden).  On the right is heaven in a bowl.

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The chicken was paired with this AWESOME salad that I would make again and again.  Kyle loved it too.  Totally recommend!

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It’s from the blog A Family Feast which I had never heard of before, but found via pinterest when I searched for broccoli and cauliflower salads.

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The produce portion of the winter vegetable salad calls for broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peas, so I just used two mixed veggie bags from TJs (steamed in a pot – not the bags), then added frozen peas.  The dressing sounded slightly random but was totally delicious.  I mean, I am a mayo FIEND so of course that part sounded delicious, but the combo of herbs and sriracha gave me pause.  But I can happily report it was fan-damn-tastic.  I used plain lactose free organic yogurt instead of sour cream because I had it on hand, but otherwise followed the directions exactly.  Way good.  Make this asap!

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On Monday I made Jessica’s chopped BLT salad with corn, (goat) feta and avocado.  It was on hold because I wasn’t eating soft cheeses for pregnancy, but I have been for the past few weeks because, meh, I don’t know.  I’m over pregnancy.  As you can see (above – and over the past 9 months of my documenting on HHH) I have been eating raw fish in sushi as well.  I trust the sources so that’s that.  Judge if you want.

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Per usual I swapped the olive oil in the dressing for the bacon fat that rendered while I cooked it.  I also used romaine instead of arugula.

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Chopped all fine.  So yum.

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Next up Asian chicken salad from my head.

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I baked and sliced the chicken breasts and then tossed them in a teriyaki sauce (some plain chicken was set aside for P).  The rest of salad included romaine, carrots, cashews, mandarin oranges, and green onions.  More teriyaki sauce as dressing.

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Not very complicated.  Salty and therefore perfect.

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I prepped this ragu the night before and left the whole crockpot in the fridge overnight and then started it first thing Wednesday morning.

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Then after 8-9 hours I shredded it with forks and let it cook another couple hours until dinnertime.

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His was over pasta and hers was over polenta (as the Pinch Of Yum recipe serves it).

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I’ve made this recipe before but haven’t tasted it because it is part of my postpartum prep (meaning it’s portioned out and frozen in our stand up freezer for later).  It smelled insaneeeeeeee last time it cooked in the crock and my mouth was watering as I packed it up without a single taste.  This time I used pork shoulder instead of beef because WF was having an awesome deal on it.

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P tried some when we had it as leftovers on Friday and was iffy on it.  He is more of a plain food (without seasonings or in an assembled dish) kind of boy so I wasn’t sure what he’d think, but I encouraged him to just try one bite, which he did.  I didn’t push any more on him after that.  Hopefully eventually he will eat assembled meals (for now eating all the deconstructed ingredients is good enough).  :)

Ok, so back to the menu.

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Patty-cakes’ favorite at the moment – hamburgers.

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I made them plain again (with 1 lb organic grass fed ground beef, 1 egg, salt and pepper) and served a Brussels sprout Caesar on the side.  Kyle requests Caesar salads every week and it makes me happy because I love them too and they are sooooo easy to make.

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I went bun less, per usual, and then had cornbread on the side.

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As I mentioned before, we had leftover ragu on Friday, which was good because I spent all 2+ hours of Pacman’s nap in the kitchen using up as many lemons from the yard as I could.

First, I froze a bunch of fresh squeezed juice into ice cube trays.

Second, I made lemon curd (with coconut oil, eggs, stevia, lemon juice and zest).  I’ll let you know how it turns out later (I’m off stevia during pregnancy).

Third, I made fresh lemonade.

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Meyers are amazing.  The house smelled like heaven all day from the juicing and zesting.

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Totally messy, but 100% WINNNINNNNNNG.

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I was going to skip the straining step of the curd recipe, but then I went and scrambled the freakin eggs (whoops!) so I obviously had to strain it to get the whites out.  Doh!  Clearly I wasn’t patient enough stirring on a low temp.  Either way, it looks thick and awesome now so the end result seems to be worth it.

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Ok now for the dessert section of the week.

I got both these from TJs for the first time.  I had high hopes for the dark chocolate covered potato chips (because I loooove a sweet/salty combo) but it was just okay.  I don’t think I’ll buy them again, but I’ll certainly enjoy them while we have them now.  I mean, they are still chocolate after all.

The coconut bonbons are freakin’ out of this world.  They taste like coconut chocolate heaven and I would eat the entire box in one sitting if I didn’t know the calorie/sugar content in each serving size (which is a measly 2 pieces).  Sigh.

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These are what my dessert plates start out as…and then I go back for seconds because I am in denial about how much chocolate needs to be in my life.

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Kyle also got these one night as a surprise.  I adore Theo but he’s not as big of a fan (this was my first time trying the ginger, although I’ve had pretty much every other flavor).  In all fairness, the chocolove bar was better.  But of course it was…almonds…sea salt…dark chocolate…that’s a menage a trois of awesome.  I also restocked my candied ginger stash at the co-op and it’s the spicier kind, which is my preference.  I paired that with TJs pound plus chocolate bar (with almonds) on every night not pictured above.

Yesterday I made mocha almond fudge ice cream but we haven’t tried it yet so I’ll share that once we do.  I have a feeling it will be good.  ;)