Sunday, September 7, 2014

Somedays, it doesn't help to be barefoot.

One of the downsides of being eight months pregnant is that it really hurts to be on your feet for extended periods of time.  It's always kind of bugged me to spend long stretches in the kitchen without shoes, because my feet don't have any support and my legs start to wear out, but now, it feels like I can't stand for more than 30-45 minutes or so.  So tonight, the 4-5 hours we've spent cooking and prepping food for the week has been interspersed with a lot of breaks, and things got a lot better once I went and put on my sneakers.  Hopefully the end result of this will be that almost every meal for the week is good to go and we don't have to do a lot of prep work to have delicious, healthy meals.

I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because I haven't come up with many new recipes and because Pinterest basically serves most of the purposes for which I started this blog (a way of cataloging my favorite recipes, etc.)

Anyway, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes this week and while there are plenty of posts and blogs out there, since I have a high chance of having GD again with subsequent pregnancies (the jury is still out on whether this kid gets a sibling, ever), I figured it would be useful to me and perhaps to others to compile recipes.  I haven't met with the endocrinologist/diabetes educator or learned to test my blood sugar yet, but a few friends gave me some advice so for the past few days I've been eating low-carb, upping my protein, and eating 3 small meals and 2-3 large snacks.  I've been tracking everything on My Fitness Pal and trying to figure out how doable being a vegetarian with GD is.  I only have 8 weeks to go in my pregnancy, so if I do end up needing to eat meat to get the nutrients I need and not overload myself or the baby with sugar or salt, I will do so.  (There is very little I won't do to avoid having an 11lb baby, it turns out.)

So here is my meal plan for this week:
Sunday: Burgers and Zuchinni Fries - I used whole wheat bread crumbs and had my burger bunless, with a side of greek yogurt (the black bean burgers from Costco are pretty spicy so the yogurt cuts the flavor.)  I recommend not using panko, or running the panko through the food processor first.
Monday: Lentil Tacos (I'm trying this recipe) on whole wheat tortillas (I buy the whole wheat ones from Costco)
Tuesday: No Noodle Zucchini Lasagna 
Wednesday: Kale Quinoa Salad with Roasted corn and Lemon Vinagrette - I'll probably skip the corn on this one.  My lemon vinagrette is just lemon juice and olive oil and some garlic and salt.  You can add mustard if you want it to hold together better.
Thursday:  Stir fry with tofu and all of the vegetables from our CSA and a side of brown rice.
Friday: Fish with a side of rice and...something with lima beans.

Something that helps me a lot is to make rice and quinoa in advance, because during the week, it's hard to remember to start the rice cooker as soon as one of us gets home from work so that the rice is done at a reasonable time.  (It's possible they make rice cookers that stay warm for hours for exactly this reason but ours burns stuff if it's beyond the time.)

I also made some cookies and chocolate chip bread to use up the 8 very large zucchini that came from our CSA (we went with the Jones Family Farm for any Baltimore locals and it's been great).  Mr. Barefoot approved of the cookies and pronounced them "pretty edible, in fact good."

What are you eating these days? Any low-carb, high protein suggestions for me?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to make an outrageously elaborate meal, just the two of us.  Something we have never made before and probably won't make again.

What is this one?

Now, before you roll your eyes and are like, "um, you've never made a lasanga before?" Let me elaborate.
We will be making our own pasta.  Our own cheese.  And our own tomato sauce.  There is some debate as to whether to use canned or fresh tomatoes for the tomato sauce, but I'm leaning towards canned because they are likely fresher than out of season imported tomatoes.  I'll report back how it went.

What are you doing?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Menu Plan

I thought I would share our menu plan for this week, since I know coming up with weekly meal plans is challenging for some folks and sometimes inspiration is nice.  This is actually just pulled from our "Menu Planning" master Google Doc, which is the best system we've come up with for sharing our menu plans and keeping recipes in one place.

This morning, I prepped all of the veggies, etc. for this week and it only took a couple of hours to prep everything and saute up the onions/peppers for the chili and for the enchilada filling.  I made the sweet potatoes in the crockpot while I did that, so all I'll need to do on Tuesday is put them in the oven or microwave to warm back up, and then top them with homemade cinnamon marshmallows.  Mostly, this week just required chopping onions and peppers (and I used frozen) and some garlic, but was pretty easy, so if you are wary of menu planning, I would recommend it.

Week of 11/17/13

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanksgiving Awaits

Today I made marshmallows for Thanksgiving using this recipe.  I added two giant tablespoons of cinnamon and cut the vanilla in half, but they smelled really good and I'm going to test drive them on sweet potato casserole this week.

It seems like every year I go a little crazy and try to make something elaborate from scratch that I could just buy at the store.  One year I made my own stuffing bread, one year it was my own crescent roll dough.  I actually still make my own some of the time because it's much easier to work with.  This year I'm planning on making little brie-cranberry-crescent roll muffin cups, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Are you making anything from scratch? Is anyone having a very Pinterest Thanksgiving? I feel like soon I won't be able to log in without seeing a million pins of roasted turkeys wearing pilgrim hats on a bed of cranberries or something.


I'm making this crepes recipe right now and it's delicious.  These are my most successful crepes yet. I made them in the food processor and started by sifting the flour in the food processor.  They are lump free, spreading easily, and not sticking to my crepe pan.  Today's fillings are nutella, almond butter mixed with nutella, and goat cheese with Italian herbs and seasoning.   I wish I had apple and brie.

Other crepe filling ideas?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Half-30, Weeks 2 & 3

Oh dear. I started a blog post with my remaining menu plan, and totally failed to continue. This was for a few reasons, the first being I found out there is actually a whole vegetarian paleo forum and movement, with websites with meal plans and stuff, so I started to feel obsolete, and secondly, um, I'm busy.

-Sweet potato hash with fried eggs (I have made this 2-3 times a week and smoothies the other days)
-Paleo Oatmeal
-Oatmeal Minus the Oats

- Coconut Red Lentil Soup

- Sauteed Scallops over Spaghetti Squash - I did not use this recipe. I used this one, and it was gross, and worse reheated.

-Catfish sauteed with cajun spices

-Salmon patties with a big salad and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing (Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard)

- Chili Rubbed Salmon with coconut cauliflower rice

- Almond encrusted Tilapia 

-Black bean salad with avocado, tomato, and roasted peppers.

-Apples with almond butter

I'm on Week 4 now and this week I'm adding some grains back in.  This is partly because I just haven't been feeling as good this time as last time, and I realized that last time, I cheated way more. I had occasional potatoes or rice, and I felt much better. I had no energy through most of last week, and I was just really tired.

I also have concluded, that while a number of things on the Whole30 website talk about the importance of healing your relationships with food, and not "slipping up" or "cheating" and how horrible it is, I also decided that I'm sorry, but I do not want to look back on the awesome camping trip I took with my cousins and remember bitterly watching everybody else roast marshmallows around the campfire and feeling upset and like I missed out.  So I bought gluten free graham crackers and tried to make my own marshmallows but I failed at that so I bought some, and I bought really good dark chocolate, and I bought normal food for the other people, and I ate exactly two s'mores, which is less than usual, and I did not continue roasting marshmallows for the fun of it, which I hope indicates I'm working on my portion control.

I'm not sure what the next step is. I'm not sure whether I'm adding gluten back in. I think I will be, because I don't actually have a problem digesting it, but I think I will be limiting my intake of wheat to weekends/evenings so that I don't experience a carb crash during the day.  My new eating philosophy is to eat as little processed food as possible, and sleep as much as possible, and I think these two things combined will make me feel my best.  I think cutting sugar has been good for me, although I'm unable to kick my sweet tooth entirely, I'm very much so hoping to be able to kick soda for good one of these days. I also don't believe my body doesn't know the difference between raisins and chocolate, and I'm going to try to switch to healthy snacks instead of grabbing something toxic and candyfilled at the convenience store.

The biggest thing I got out of this was being totally convinced that the Once a Month Meals philosophy is a good one.  One big monthly cooking day to have most of my meals ready/prepped for the month is going to go a long way in the future, so now it's just a matter of clearing my freezer and making space one weekend a month.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Half-30 started Monday. Alternatively, we could call it Whole 15. Basically, we decided to start with 2 weeks rather than the full 30 days.  Which basically means I'm throwing all of the rules of Whole 30 except no dairy no grains to the wind.  I picked Half-30 because I think it's short for "Half A$$ed 30" rather than pretending I'm actually doing this diet the correct way.  Do I recommend doing it the correct way? Absolutely. I think it will have even more benefits.  But for us, we're going to do 2 weeks, and then spend the next two weeks focusing on a way to live sustainably.  Anyway, I thought I'd post our menu plan for this week and talk about prepping for Half-30.

Sunday, I went to the farmer's market, Costco, and the grocery store. I spent all day cooking. I made a sweet potato black bean chili, I made a sweet potato frittata, I roasted sweet potatoes for snacks, I hard boiled eggs, I chopped onions and green beans and zuchinni and squash and sauted those things so they would be ready for the week.  I bought salad and spinach and all kinds of nuts.  I made nut butter so that I can have it on apples for a snack.

Being prepared is half the battle, and I knew for the first week, having easy snacking items on hand if dinner took a little longer, and having dinner ready to go, was paramount.  After the first week last year, I noticed I no longer got ravenously hungry and therefore could handle actually cooking food, but the first week is all about making sure dinner is ready and you have enough snacks so you don't turn to bad choices in the meantime.  I've been taking a giant bag of food to work with me so that I have enough food.  The only problem is that I'm really sick of all of my breakfast options.

 So here is our menu plan:
-Sweet potato frittata
-Almond milk - banana - frozen berry smoothie
-Almond milk - spinach - banana smoothie

-Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili (recipe below)
-leftovers (I packed up the chili so that we would have lunches for the first day and then just in case we don't have leftovers from other stuff)

-Sweet Potato Cashew Chili with Cauliflower Rice
-Falafel with kale chips
-Grilled salmon salad with pecans, dried cranberries, homemade balsamic dressing
-Vegetable frittata (I pre sauted zuchinni and squash for this, I will just add eggs and omit the usual milk, yogurt and cheese)
-Seared scallops on spaghetti squash

-Hard boiled eggs
-Apples with almond butter or sunbutter
-Baked sweet potatoes
-Almond-date-cocoa balls  can also be made with

Sweet Potato Chili
1 Tbsp  oil
green pepper, sliced
red pepper, sliced
onion, sliced
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cans (15.5 oz each) black beans, undrained
1 can white beans
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 medium yam, peeled and diced 
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp cocoa 
2 Tbsp honey
3tbs  chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp  cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste 

  1. Heat basting oil in medium stockpot on MEDIUM-HIGH. Add peppers & onions. Cook, stirring, 3-4 min until soft, but not browned. Add stock, beans and liquid, tomatoes, yam, vinegar, garlic, cocoa powder, honey,chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on LOW, uncovered, 25-30 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.