Archive for March, 2011

March 31, 2011

Broccoli Salad

This is a great salad to take with you to pot lucks – you can make it the night before and it is even better for having sat for a few hours. It’s also very healthy so you know that there will be at least one option helping you to get your servings of calcium, green vegetables and protein. Broccoli also has loads of iron!

Ingredients
2 heads broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6-8 slices bacon *optional but yummy
1 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Fry bacon until crispy, drain grease and set aside.

Cut up broccoli flowerets into bite-sized pieces, leaving just a little stem. Cut up enough for about 4 cups of flowerets.

Add onion, cheese and seeds and raisins.In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients to make a dressing. Toss with broccoli mixture

Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.

Crumble bacon into bits, add to bowl and toss salad just before serving.

March 29, 2011

The Five Foods All Pregnant Women Need

This comes from Parents.com – a great little list about healthy foods your body needs especially when pregnant!

1. Orange Juice – Not only is this juice high in vitamin C and folic acid, it’s also a good source of potassium, which has been shown to help lower high blood pressure, a particular danger during pregnancy.

2. Yogurt – A good source of protein, yogurt has more calcium than milk and also contains active cultures that reduce the risk of yeast infections, which are more common while you’re expecting. Also, some people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate yogurt.

3. Broccoli – Known for being a good source of calcium, this veggie is also packed with vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6.

4. Lentils – Like beans, lentils are a great source of folate and are rich in iron and protein. They’re also full of fiber, which can help prevent constipation and subsequent hemorrhoids.

5. Figs – Fresh or dried, figs have more fiber than any typical fruit or vegetable, more potassium than bananas, and plenty of calcium and iron.

March 24, 2011

Purple Potato Baby Food

This recipe is great for introducing beets to your baby. The potato helps with texture and mellows the beet flavour, though because of the sweetness most babies love beets on their own in a puree as well. It is recommended to introduce beets at the 8 – 10 month mark and be aware that, as with adults, eating many beets can cause red discharge in stool.

Ingredients
1 medium of  beets
2 medium potatoes

 Bake both the beet and the potato in foil in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Mash and mix beets and potatoes together. Serve when they have reached room temperature.

March 21, 2011

Veggie Sushi

There is a lot of talk about what you should and should not eat when you are pregnant. And a big no no on the list is raw fish. Thus sushi may seem out of the question. But there are many different kinds of veggies that work well in sushi and it’s very simple to make on your own! The big plus, when you are at home you can control the sodium levels, the ingredients and use brown rice for added whole grains.

Ingredients
Nori – seaweed paper
Sushi Rice – a sticky rice that is usually white. Use brown if you like but make sure it is ‘sticky’ so that it will hold the rolls together
Rice vinegar
Vegetables cut into thin strips such as carrots, celery, zucchini, avocado, red peppers or anything your family likes that will add a bit of flavour and crunch

Cook rice according to package directions, adding 2 TBSP of vinegar when it is finished.

On a piece of wax paper lay out a piece of nori and cover it lightly with rice.

Add a layer of vegetables in any combination you like, then roll sushi into a tight spiral. Pack it tightly and the rice should help it to stick.

Slice the roll in to several pieces of sushi. Serve with optional soy sauce, wasabi paste or pickled ginger.

March 15, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This is an amazingly simple dish to prepare – but it is a touch time consuming. Worth every minute though I promise. Best part, though it takes time it doesn’t need you to babysit it. It is inspired by a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce by Chef Michael Smith. Mine just contains a bit more veg that I sneak in there. The more the merrier I always say!

Ingredients
3 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2  large red onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, cut into 2 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Baby spinach
1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place peppers, onion, sweet potato and garlic cloves into a  baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss well. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until all veg is fork tender.

Pour vegetables into a blender and puree, adding a splash of water to help it along. Add pureed sauce to a pot and put over medium heat. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add one handful of spinach for every person being served. Add hot, cooked pasta and toss well.

March 10, 2011

Avocado Musrooms

This turned into one of my great masterpieces of veggie work while I was playing in the kitchen the other day. It’s simple, but is great as a main or a side dish.

Ingredients
1/2 avocado
1 hard boiled egg
1 TBSP mayo
1 TBSP olive oil or Italian dressing
1 TSP – 1 TBSP of your choice of hot sauce *optional but is really recommended
Pepper to taste
2 TBSP Butter
Garlic Powder
2 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed

In a bowl mix avocado, egg, mayo, olive oil and hot sauce together until creamy and egg has broken into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Season mushrooms with garlic powder and pepper. Melt butter in skillet and add season mushrooms, stem side down to skillet. Cook 3 minutes. Flip. Add avocado mixture to tops of mushrooms and cook 5 minutes more until mushroom is soft but not soggy. Turn off heat. Place a strip of tin foil over top of mushrooms and let rest for 1 minute.

March 8, 2011

What Should I Eat?

It’s easy to get caught up in the types of vitamins and nutrients that you should be eating on a daily basis, but that’s not always easy or practical to keep track of in a busy life. Especially as you are getting ready for your new arrival. Here is an easier way to keep track of what you should be eating every day to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition without having to worry about which foods have Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Vitamin B or the rest.

Protein: 3 servings a day. Each of these count as a serving: 3 8oz glasses of milk, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 4 eggs, 4oz canned salmon, 40z before cooking poultry, lean beef or pork

Calcium: 4 daily servings. A serving could be: 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, 4oz of canned salmon with bones, 3 TBSP sesame seeds, 1 cup cooked greens

Vitamin C: 3 daily servings. A serving could be: 3/4 cup tomato juice, 1/2 medium green pepper, 1/3 cup strawberries, 1 cup edamame, 1/2 cup diced pineapple

Green Leafy / Yellow Vegetables and Fruit: 3-4 servings per day. A serving example: 1/2 a mango, 3/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1/2 a carrot, 1/2 small sweet potato

Other Vegetables and Fruit: 1-2 servings per day. Example of a serving: 1 medium apple or pear, 1/2 cup pitted cherries, 2 small plums

Whole Grains: 6 or more servings a day. Examples: 1 slice of bread,  1/2 cup of granola, 1/2 cup rice, couscous, barley or quinoa, 2 cups popcorn

Iron Rich Foods: Eat some daily. Examples: Beef, poultry, baked potato with its skin left on, spinach, pumpkin seeds

Fats: 4 servings a day. Examples of healthy fats: 1 TBSP butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 TBSP almond butter, peanut butter or cream cheese

Salt: Eat in moderation.

Fluid: Eight 8oz glasses of fluid a day

It may sound like a lot – but many of these categories over lap and it is easier to know if you have had a serving of Green Leafy Vegetables than to know if you have had any Vitamin B12 in your diet today.

** This information is summarized from the What to Expect When You Are Expecting series of books

March 4, 2011

Polenta

This is a recipe adapted from one found in Michael Smith’s The Best of Chef at Home. I’ve been cooking my way through it as part of my Simply Fresh Cook Along Book Club. I found the original great, but needing a little boost. This polenta helps you get a serving of ‘Leafy Green or Yellow Vegetables and Fruit’ which are vital for cell growth of healthy skin, bones and eyes of which you are to have 3-4 servings daily while pregnant. It also has a serving of calcium of which you need 4 daily. It’s even a great food for babies 9 months and older.

Ingredients
Vegetable Oil
1 small onion chopped finely
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
Salt / Pepper

Splash vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add milk and 1 cup broth. Bring to a simmer. In a separate bowl add remaining cup of broth and corn meal, mix and add to simmering liquid. Stir constantly – a wooden spoon works best.

Lower heat and keep stirring for 15 minutes or so. Stir in all remaining ingredients including salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while creamy or bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until firm, in a loaf pan. Cut thick slices and grill to reheat and serve.

March 2, 2011

Pesto

This has to be one of my all time favorite condiments. I love it on everything from bagels and cream cheese to pasta and beyond. The addition of pine nuts (or the more cost effective, walnuts) gives this a protein boost that most other condiments just don’t have.

Ingredients
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and whip until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time). Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.
Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.
Process basil pesto it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well. Serve over pasta. Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week, or freeze for a few months.