Friday, August 24, 2012

Visit with the Nutritionist

Since Taylor is receiving speech services through EI, we apparently qualify for other perks (unfortunately, one of those is NOT free health insurance).  A few weeks ago we had a nutritionist come to our house to discuss Taylor's eating habits and her overall health.  Now you all know how much I've stressed about how little she is for...well ever since she was born!  Even though her pediatrician reassured us over and over that Taylor was just fine, I still felt like there was something wrong.  I even had her go gluten-free for one every expensive week!  So I went into this appointment with apprehension.  I was positive that Taylor's diet of fish sticks and chicken nuggets would not be up to par and we were in for a lecture on feeding Taylor "convenience" foods.
Okay this is terrible, but I'm not entirely sure of the nutritionist's name.  I think her name was Sue.  So that's what I'm calling her.  Anyway, Sue showed up at our house and she was one of the most personable ladies I have ever met.  I mean she's the kind of lady who you would want to be your 2nd mom.  Since Taylor was sleeping when Sue came, the three of us chatted a bit about what Taylor eats and the concerns I had.  I right away admitted to feeding Taylor the chicken nuggets and fish sticks and Sue didn't bat an eye.  Actually what Sue focused more on was the fact that I try to sneak veggies into Taylor's diet by pureeing them.  She loved (no seriously, LOVED) that we had made pancakes with pureed beets and that Taylor had actually eaten them.  Sue also really liked that we gave Taylor the fruit/veggie pouches.  I kept telling her, "I'm doing the best I can!" and Sue was just so nice and supportive.  By this point, Taylor had woken up from her nap and Sue weighed and measured her.  Buck naked, Taylor weighed 23 pounds, 11 oz.  Yeah most 1 year olds weigh that!   Ah, what else is new?  And I think she was just shy of 34 inches.  She is still on the growth charts.  Barely but she's there!  However, despite her size Sue said Taylor was really healthy.  She has good muscle tone and her body looks good (that sounds weird but you know what I mean).
Sue encouraged us to keep doing what we were doing and to keep offering the veggies.  She also gave us some suggestions of new things to try (like crushing cheerios and coating very thin apple slices in them).  She also gave us a bottle of a multi-vitamin and a DHA supplement.  The DHA supplement was a huge blessing; I don't know if you've noticed but DHA supplements for kids are kinda expensive. 
So after that wonderful visit with Sue, I can finally say, I am no longer worried about Taylor's size!  And I'm not stressing about what she's eating either!  It is a huge relief to not have that underlying stressor.
And hopefully I will have an update on her speech soon.  I'm waiting for her therapist to do another full evaluation before I post anything.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Temptations....cutting back

So I start school in a week.  Actually, now it's less than a week.  I started the Tuesday Temptations so I'd have more of an excuse to post (b/c clearly having 2 kids is not a good enough reason ::eye roll at myself::) and it was summer so I was trying to fill the time.  But now that school is starting up again and I started yet another blog (Mrs. Willis' First Grade) I feel Tuesday Temptations might become more of an every other week thing.  I do want to continue sharing recipes but if I find them online,  I might just post a link and a quick review. 

So this week I bring you 2 of my favorite recipes from Six Sister's Stuff:

Baked Chicken Ranch Taquitos

These are AWESOME.  No seriously, they are SO delicious!  I made these for my dear friend Emily after she had her baby and I can say confidently that she and her husband William loved them (I can't remember if her little guy Owen liked them or not....).  I have made them for staff lunch days at school and they got gobbled up.  They are incredibly easy and I have a feeling you could even make a batch and freeze half of them to save for another day. 

Baked Chimichangas with Green Sauce

Okay yes it's another "Mexican" dish but it is so good!  What I love about Six Sister's recipes is that most of them are pretty easy to execute.  Oh and they taste yummy.  This might not be the best weeknight meal if you're someone who likes to get dinner on the table fast.  They don't cook long but the prep is a little more intensive because you have to stuff the chimichangas.  However, I promise they are worth the work!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Temptations

Sheesh, I almost forgot again!  Well unfortunately I do not have a picture to go with my recipe because it's one we have not made recently.  However, it is one of my favorite recipes and my family has been making it for....years.  I seriously cannot even remember how many years.  It is a really delicious and easy recipe!

Peachy Pork Picante

Prep Time: 5 min.    Cook Time: 20-30 min.    Servings: 4

1 lb. boneless pork, cut into cubes
1 tbs. taco seasoning mix (we actually use the whole packet most of the time)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 8 oz bottle chunky-style salsa
1/3 cup peach preserves
 Coat pork cubes with taco seasoning by placing cubes and taco seasoning in a large ziploc bag and shaking until all pieces are coated. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pork and cook to brown, stirring occasionally.
Add salsa and preserves to pan, lower heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 min.
Serve over rice or quinoa.
Well I think I basically reviewed it above.  You can see how easy this dish is and it is so good!  If you do use the whole packet of taco seasoning the meat will have a little bit more of a kick, but we like spicy food so that's not an issue for us.  Another fun option is to throw in some pineapple chunks the last few minutes of the simmer.  You could also throw in extra bell peppers if you wanted to add more vegetables.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tuesday Temptations (late again!)

Ugh I'm late with this again.  But in my defense, on Sunday we had a cookout and on Monday, we went out to dinner for my birthday, and then all day yesterday I was at IKEA.  I was completely exhausted when I got home so writing a post was not a priority.
I'll make up for it with two recipes today.

Brown Sugar Carrots

Prep Time: 10 min.      Cook Time: 40 min.     Servings: 4

4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1-2 TB olive oil
2 TB brown sugar
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place carrots in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss well to coat.  Sprinkle brown sugar over carrots and toss again to coat.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (for easy clean up) and spray with olive oil spray.  Spread carrot slices out in a single layer.  Sprinkle salt over the top, if desired.  Place in oven and bake for 20 min.  Stir and flip carrots.  Bake for 20 more minutes or until carrots start to brown.

So I kinda made this recipe up.  I saw a recipe online for carrot fries.  They were pretty good; tasted like sweet potato fries, but they were kind of mushy.  So the next night, I busted out my mandolin (which if you don't own one, go get one!  You can get one at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a total of $15 if you have a 20% off coupon) and sliced the carrots very thin.  I used brown sugar because I know that's something people will often put on their sweet potatoes so I figured they would go well with carrots.  And even though I made these more for the girls, Walker and I ended up eating them!  The girls turned their noses up at them (go figure) but Walker and I thought they were really, really good.  I liked the addition of the salt, especially.

Lemon Chicken with Spinach Pasta

Prep Time: 15 min. (+30 min. to 8 hours for marinading)   Cook Time: 30 min.    Servings: 4

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 TB white wine vinegar or rice-wine vinegar
1 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
8 oz whole-wheat penne
4 cups spinach, washed and trimmed

Prepare a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Trim the chicken of any remaining fat.  Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy pan to pound the meat until it is 1/2- to 3/4- inch thick.  Slice each breast into four strips and place into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the sliced onions over the chicken.
Prepare the marinade.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.  Pour half the mixture over the chicken and onions and reserve the second half for the sauce.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover chicken and onions with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.  Return the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the pan.  Add the spinach, cooking until it wilts.  Add the reserved marinade mixture and heat just until warm.  Serve with cooked chicken.

Calories: 353.6
Fat: 6 g
Carbs: 47 g*
Fiber: 8.1 g
Protein: 34.4 g

This recipe comes from my new SparkPeople Cookbook.  I don't know if you've heard of SparkPeople but it is a free website that lets you track calories (and fat, protein, carbs, fiber, etc.) along with your workouts, weight, water intake...basically anything you can think of.  It really is a wonderful community for people focusing on making healthier choices.  Anyway, I ordered the cookbook last week and this is the 2nd recipe we tried.  I must say, it was pretty tasty.  I know it looks like I put a pound of Parmesan on it but I swear I didn't put that much.  And truthfully, this dish doesn't really need the Parmesan cheese on it.  I just like cheese. :) Sometimes pasta dishes can leave you feeling like a complete blob, but this dish was really light and refreshing in taste.  One serving was perfectly satisfying without making me feel like I overate.  It is a perfect pasta dish for summer!

*There is a brand of pasta (cannot remember the name but I know Meijer sells it and it comes in a black box) that only has 5 g net carbs per serving.  We use that kind because it is better for Walker.  The nutritional information above is right from the cookbook, so it should be accurate if you use a regular whole-wheat pasta.