WIAW-A few Summer Staples

Is it really August 1st already?? I honestly cannot believe this is the last official month of Summer. When I told people in the beginning of my pregnancy my due date, a common response was something along these lines: “OOOoOO August 25th? It’s going to be a long hot summer!” In actuality, I think the pregnancy made it go by so much faster.  And while yes, it has been unseasonably warm for the Midwest, I’ve somehow managed to survive the heat…you know with most buildings having A/C and all these days :-)

Another thing that has made this unbearable heat somewhat tolerable? Frozen treats!  Throughout my whole pregnancy, ice cream and frozen custard have given me zero problems.  It was pure bliss to be able to indulge in these treats without a stomachache to follow…until the third trimester.  My stomach finally figured itself out again and I am now back to being as dairy-free as possible.  Fortunately for me, there are a few fro-yo places popping up all over Milwaukee and I couldn’t be any happier about this.  On Sunday, LC and I ventured down to Brady St. and stumbled upon Berry Me.  It is a self serve yogurt place that offers non-fat and dairy free yogurt as some of its selections.  I chowed down on a dairy-free pink lemonade mixed in with a non-fat vanilla mix.  It definitely hit the spot.  The fact that this place offers a dairy-free option will keep me going back. And from their Facebook page: “Many lactose intolerant individuals can enjoy our frozen yogurt because it is truly cultured and fermented. Our products are certified Kosher.”

Another summer staple this week (and every week) is FRUIT!  Watermelon has been my fruit of choice this summer.  I think LC and I have consumed 5 whole watermelons this summer.  Or should I just say I? Given the choice between a big bowl of ice cream vs. a big bowl of watermelon and this prego chooses watermelon hands down.  Lucky for me, it also offer lots of benefits to the pregnant woman :-)  Along side a buffalo bleu chicken burger and corn on the cob, watermelon (and pineapple) was the perfect addition to Tuesday night’s summer meal.

Another regular thing in the summer time are smoothies and cold cereal for breakfast.  Oatmeal, unless put into the smoothie, usually gets retired until it starts to get cold outside again.  Today, I tried something a little outside of my comfort zone of fruits & greens: an avocado smoothie.

I blended 1/2 ripe avocado (I would’ve used a whole one but I only had a 1/2 that was ripened), 1 cup almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, 1 TBSP chia seeds, 1 tsp agave nectar, and 5 oz of vanilla greek yogurt.  I thought it turned out pretty good, but could’ve used more avocado.

I’m off to bed to do some reading & catch up on sleep!  Don’t forget to enter my Bar Method DVD giveaway!  You have until tomorrow, August 2nd at 11:59 CST to enter!

Good luck!

Summer Snackage

When the seasons change, so does my appetite and eating style.  When Summer makes itsway to the Midwest, my appetite turns into that of a “grazing throughout the day” style as opposed to 3 meals a day.  When it’s in the upper 90s and it’s hot and humid, a heavy meal is the last thing on my mind.

Now that I’m about 7 1/2 months along into my pregnancy, cooking during the week is also less appealing to me, so I can say that hubs is responsible for most of our week night meals which are all prepared on the grill.  Last night’s meal consisted of grass-fed cheeseburgers on the grill, cut up watermelon, and some chips.

The  only thing I cooked up last night was kale chips.  I’ve attempted to buy them twice at Whole Foods and both times I’ve been really disappointed.  Both times it’s been a taste issue.  So instead of buying them, I decided to give it one more go and make my own. Best. Decision. Ever.  I picked up a bag of kale at the Madison Farmer’s Market this past weekend for under $4 along with some sunflower oil.  I washed the kale, tore the leaves off the stem, placed them on a cookie sheet and brushed sunflower oil on them.  Then, I sprinkled sea salt and Mrs. Dash Garlic seasonings.  I baked them at about 200 degrees for about 20 minutes.  They turned out wonderfully, and I will definitely be making these again when I pick up some more kale at the market this weekend.

Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s favorite summer snacks: 

1) Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Bars-Besides being soy free & dairy free, these tasty bars definitely satisfy my ice cream craving and are a much better alternative than a trip to DQ or Culver’s. 2)Lucy’s Gluten-Free cookies-allergen free, vegan, made in a dedicated bakery, & all natural.  Lucy’s cookies are a great snack to have on hand when you don’t have time to whip up your own batch of cookies.  I’ve tried the sugar and the chocolate chip as well as the oatmeal and all have been very good. 3) What’s a summer without some watermelon in your life?  Besides it being a summer tasty treat, I recently learned that it has awesome benefits for pregnant women.  If you want, you can read about that *here*. 4) Food Should Taste Good-Olive Chips and roasted red pepper feta cheese dip.  This lovely snack comes from Outpost and is a great alternative to the traditional chips and dip.  This feta cheese medley would probably rock my socks off if it was mixed with hummus…

Do your eating habits change with the seasons? What’s your favorite summer time snack? 

WIAW Celebratory Blueberry Muffins

Good evening! I hope everyone’s week is going well.  I can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday.  Bring on opening night of Jazz in the Park with my favorite two women :-)

Our week has been a little crazy over here.  Monday I had a dr.’s appointment & made muffins, Tuesday was Election Day here in Wisconsin & a sisters night in-we watched The Vow and I was very disappointed, and tonight we had birthing classes.  So back to those muffins…

I wanted to bring my co-worker a treat as a way to say “Thank you for hiring me after keeping in suspense for the last 6 months”.  I know everyone in my office loves baked goods, so I brought in homemade blueberry muffins.  My version of muffins are a little different than other people’s.  Because people love to bring in treats, I thought I’d make mine a little bit healthy.  I was a little nervous to bring them in because I was afraid of how people would react to the taste…turns out they LOVED them!  My boss took one bite and said, “You can bring these in any day!”  No one had no idea that they were gluten-free and vegan.  Confession…I do this with all my treats but never tell anyone :-)

Celebratory Blueberry Muffins w/Streusel Topping

 

by Maria Campbell

Keywords: bake bread gluten-free vegan

 

Ingredients (24 muffins)

  • Muffins:
  • 4 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/3 cup agave nectar (light)
  • 1 1/3 cup rice milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 quart fresh blueberries washed
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice sugar
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegan shortening

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line the muffin tin with liners or spray muffin tin if liners aren’t used.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, agave, rice milk, vanilla and lemon to the dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Using a plastic spatula, fold in blueberries until they are distributed evenly through the batter.

Using a cookie scooper, fill each muffin tin almost to the top. In a small bowl mix evaporated cane juice, flour, water, cinnamon, and shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins.

Bake the muffins on the center rack for about 20-25 minutes. Let the muffins stand for 15 minutes then move them to the wire rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!

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WIAW-Shrimp & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Happy hump day :-) I have one more day left of work before a nice, long, much deserved weekend. Hubs and I have our maternity pictures and a graduation party to attend. I’d like to also take a trip to Ikea, but we’ll see if we have time for that. If not this weekend, then for sure sometime soon, after all, we have a nursery to decorate!

Since fatigue hit me a few weeks ago, I’ve decided that dinners around here are going to be simple & delicious, yet nutritious :-) If I don’t feel like cooking, hubs has decided to take over, instead of taking the easy way out and ordering take out. He’s becoming quite the grill master over here.

Last night, the quesadilla maker was put to good use. I made shrimp and goat cheese quesadillas and plantains. They were oh, so good.

I sautéed some shrimp in a pan and once it was warm, I drained out all the excess water and put the pan back on the burner. I then added a little bit of olive oil, squeezed in a lime, and then added some chopped onion and cilantro. I seasoned the mixture with garlic powder, minced onion, and chipotle seasoning.

After I was done with that and the ‘dilla maker was ready, I placed a gf tortilla on the maker and topped it with shrimp and a hefty amount of shredded goat cheese and then topped with another gf tortilla.

Because they’re so easy and quick to make, I told hubs to get ready for a lot of gourmet quesadillas and tacos this summer :-)

Question: When you’re looking to cook something quick and easy, what’s your go-to meal?