Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Post-Memorial Day Highlights with Chili-Lime Shrimp

I just had a weekend full of cook-outs, drinking, swimming, live music, and too much sun. It was good though, and I got to try quite a few tasty dishes. I even got a new recipe for one I intend to share for the next Meatless Monday, so check back for that + recipe link up!


At my cook-out, I prepared chicken teriyaki skewers, chili lime shrimp skewers (recipe below), that sweet fruit salsa recipe I shared last Friday, jalapeno burgers, grilled asparagus, a basic green salad, and a pitcher full of a watermelon-Riesling cocktail (I just love Riesling) I came up with based on this recipe that was featured here last week. My dear friend Mikhail brought an incredible vegetable salad and I also served chocolate fudge cake in honor of my mother-in law's recent birthday. I think everyone honestly liked that best ;)


That was Sunday. On Monday we went to Paul's parents' little get together (where the pool was!) and were served grilled drumsticks, burgers, dill potato salad, and yummy macaroni salad. A cake was also served again for my MIL, this time a red velvet cheesecake! I made myself a fruity pomegranate, lime and Moscato cocktail. It was a good time indeed. I ended the day with a late visit to my bestie's party where a really good jam band/cover band was playing and a variety of beers were available. I tried a new beer that was really crisp and delicious called New Grist Gluten-Free from Lakefront Brewery. I highly recommend it if you are a beer drinker! I am honestly not a big fan of beer, but I do know a good ale when I try one!


Here is the recipe I came up with for the shrimp:


Chili-Lime Shrimp
(serves 12+)


Ingredients


1 lb bag of large de-veined and cleaned raw shrimp
1 large bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium onion, red or Vidalia
1 medium pineapple
1/2 bottle of pale lager (I used Corona)
Juice of 1-2 limes (depending on just how limey you want it)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea slat, course but small


Toss the shrimp in a large Ziploc bag or lidded container with beer, lime, chili, and salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, cut the peppers, onion and pineapple into pieces to fit onto the skewers. Once the shrimp is ready, pop those bad boys onto the skewers with a piece of fruit or vegetable between each shrimp. Grill for about 3 minutes each side over very hot coals (or until opaque), turning once during the middle of cooking time. Serve as is or with a favorite dipping sauce, such as mango salsa.

I was too busy hostessing to take any pics, but this shot from b is for bedstuy looks a lot like my end result

For the teriyak skewers I just used a store-bought sauce base and beefed it up with extra sesame oil, sesame seeds, and fresh garlic and ginger. Lily liked those best. That is about all she ate besides Stacy's Cinnamon Pita Chips (which I served with the fruit salsa). 


Cute pic of Lily my friend Em caught :)


The fruit salsa was really good, and quite possibly my favorite dish that day, besides the veggie salad my friend made, called Vinegret (vee-neh-GRET). Lily loved that salad  too, and it will be what's featured next Monday, so be sure to check back! Here's a teaser image below of Lily and I sharing some as leftovers yesterday at the park.


Trust me, this image does not do the beauty of those dishes justice. I truly regret not getting a good shot of them, I will have to make it up! They still tasted awesome nonetheless!


Now, I know I mentioned a bit about beers earlier, and I thought you might want to know there are actually quite a few health benefits to drinking a good lager every now and then that you may not know about. They contain bone-strengthening benefits, the hops can help fight kidney stones, and the healthy cholesterols found in beers can even help boost heart power! Something even more surprising I read is that it can even prevent dementia, which most people probably believe the opposite would happen from drinking beer. Of course, don't go running out to the bars just yet- always in moderation, people!


What did you do for Memorial Day weekend? What delicious meals did you have? Share in the comments or link up below! This is just for fun, no rules! 


Check back Friday for the next Sweet Saturday blog hop and then come again for Meatless Monday recipe link-up. Have a great day!


P.S. Forgive the weird spacing on here today, something is going on with the html and I can't figure it out so I hope it's not too distracting!










Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Saturday #6: Memorial Day Recipes

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy Memorial Day weekend! I'm having a cook-out to celebrate, how bout you? I'll be making teriyaki kabobs and grilled veggies, and I was going to try these little gems out too:



Sounds good, right? I'll let you know how it goes!

Now, I have had a long day and have honestly not made anything too spectacular this week, so instead I will be sharing some sweet little pics of my little sweetie. Enjoy :)


taking a sweet lil' stroll on a sweet sunny day

lookin' stylish for dinner

peaches are pretty sweet





Now it's your turn to share something sweet! This weekend's co-hostess is Michelle at Mumma and the Kiddo. Go check her out and follow us both if you are not already. Then link-up something sweet to share- a blog, an Etsy store, an FB page, Twitter page, Pinterest, whatever! Hop around and say hi. Grab a button to spread the word! Have a great weekend!


Photobucket
<a href="http://jessica-healthymommyhealthybaby.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="<Photobucket" target="_blank">PhotobucketPhotobucket />" alt="Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby" width="125" height="125" /></a>



Also linking up with:
















Weekend Blog Hop








Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May's Up-and-Coming Blog of the Month!

I haven't blogged about a blog of the month since February due to being swamped with moving, settling in, finding a new job, and everything else that falls in between. But, now I'm back on track and I recently came across this delightful blog and just had to nominate it so I could share it with you!




Kaylee at Couponing & Cooking provides you with everything the modern mom needs- yummy recipes, ways to save, meal plans, and fun link parties. Her layout is ridiculously adorable, which is what first my eye, and the recipes! Oh, just check this little gem out: Mucho Margarita Cupcakes. That's right- Margarita....cupcakes. Not only is there (just a tad) alcohol in these pretty, tasty treats, but they're also vegan! Double points for that, Kaylee! 






C & C also has super yummy healthier recipes, such as Pesto Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Mac & Cheese. So, stop by one of Couponing & Cooking's awesome link-ups, or try one of the awesome recipes! And don't forget the many ways Kaylee can show you how to save- you won't regret giving her a visit!



Monday, May 21, 2012

Meatless Monday: Kale Pesto with Feta

Happy Meatless Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a very productive one- in a good way! I went yard sale hopping (scored a bunch of goodies which I may write a separate post for), attended the beautiful wedding of one of my dearest friends, reorganized and cleaned my house, then had a lovely Sunday afternoon with my family :) What did you do?

Last Monday, I tried a variation on a recipe from WholeFoodsMarket.com, Kale Pesto with Baked Feta! OMG, so good! Even Lily liked it! Recipe below...


Baked Kale Pesto with Feta on Baguette
(serves 6-8)

1 cup rinsed, de-stemmed, and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 8oz block of feta, drained and patted dry
1 baguette, classic or whole wheat
1 tsp dried rosemary

First, spread the pine nuts onto a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. You can also buy pine nuts pre-toasted. Next, slice the baguette into as many pieces as you plan to eat or serve, then put slices into the oven to lightly toast. Meanwhile, place the kale, garlic and pine nuts into food processor and finely chop. While motor is running on the food processor, drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. 


I actually- believe it or not -do not own a food processor, so I put everything into my blender, which is not a method I'd recommend unless you really want to try this recipe and don't have a food processor handy. It worked, but it took a while and I had to constantly turn the blender off and shift the ingredients around with a spatula to ensure that everything got chopped properly. 

playing quietly while Mommy works in the kitchen

Once bread is done toasting, place slices of feta on top then sprinkle rosemary on top of that.  Put tray back into the toaster and toast for about 3 minutes, then take out once more and spoon pesto on top, toasting for another 2-3 minutes or until warm. Serve right away as a canape or side dish.



I wasn't sure if Lily would like this since the kale has such a sharp taste, but guess what- she gobbled it up! And then asked for more! I was quite pleased. If you or your child dislikes the strong green flavor of kale, but you want to try this anyway, you can blanch the kale by boiling it for 3 minutes, then placing it into ice cold water for another 3 minutes. This will dillute the bitterness of the kale, but won't decrease the nutrition content by too much.

Also, you can serve this super green up to baby the same way you would spinach. Steam or boil kale until very soft, mash up in food processor, then serve with breast milk or formula. Yummy!!!



This is a wonderful variation on the classic Italian-style pesto. You can enjoy this on a salad or sandwich, or just as is on a fork! I actually took the last bit that was left after all the baguette was gone, and then added the last of the crumbled up feta to it, then ate it like a salad itself. Very satisfying. 


We enjoyed it with some leftover Nanny Rose's Lentil Soup, see recipe here

I don't eat pine nuts too often, but when I do, I am always glad I did. Pine nuts are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, B vitamins, manganese, and oleic acid, a cholesterol-lowering nutrient. They also contain a high amount of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids that can help curb an over-active appetite. They are delicious toasted or right out of the package. Many raw food stores sell them by the pound.


If you have a Meatless Monday meal you'd like to share, feel free to link it up below. Only rules are that it is meat-free and family-friendly. Also, please follow your hostess, moi :)






Friday, May 18, 2012

Sweet Saturday #5: Puckered Papaya Smoothie


First of all, I just wanted to share this picture of my perfect breakfast that I took this morning:


I thought it just looked too pretty not to share :) 

Now, enjoy this:

 
Puckered Papaya Smoothie
serves 2-4

1 cup chopped papaya
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup orange-pineapple juice
1/2 cup almond coconut milk
1 tsp honey
Juice of half a lime
Lime wedges for garnish

Put all ingredients except for the lime wedges into blender. Blend or puree until smooth. Serve in glasses with lime wedges. Tip: rub the lime wedge along the rim of the glass to get that puckered lime taste each sip!



Boosts you can add:
  • aloe vera juice
  • hemp seed powder
  • coconut oil
  • protein powder
  • super greens powder
  • ginger

Add about 1 tsp each per serving for maximum benefit!

The whole fam will love it! Make a big batch and share it at a party or gathering. This would be a hit at your Memorial Day weekend BBQ!  


I just love papaya, and I certainly don't eat it enough. They are technically in season June-September, but Paul came across this yummy smoothie recipe and I just couldn't wait! Besides being positively delicious, papayas are full of so much healthy goodness. They have high amounts of vitamin c, vitamin a, folate and potassium. They protect against heart disease and aid in immune support and digestion. 
They have also been found to prevent macular degeneration (primary cause of vision loss in older adults) and when combined with green tea, papaya can protect against prostate cancer! Papaya is considered by many to be a super food.

Now it's your turn to share something sweet with the return of Sweet Saturday Link Party! Link up a sweet treat, a sweet post, a sweet photo, a sweet Etsy shop or Facebook page- whatever you want! Just remember to follow your hostess and, if you'd like to, share the link on your page or blog with the button below. Whoever's link gets the most visits will be offered to co-host next week!
 





Photobucket
<a href="http://jessica-healthymommyhealthybaby.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="<Photobucket" target="_blank">PhotobucketPhotobucket />" alt="Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby" width="125" height="125" /></a>
 
Have fun and share as much as you'd like! Have a great weekend!


Oooohhh, I almost forgot- I FINALLY joined Pinterest, so be sure to follow me and/or pin this sweet little recipe. I'm new to it, so feel free to "show me the ropes" ;)

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Product Review: BabyGanics Lavender Bubble Bath and Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash





I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day. I had intended to do an awesome Mother's Day post, but guess what- I was sick. On Mother's Day. Yes. sigh. My hubby did the best to make it count anyway. I was surprised by a bouquet of flowers on the dining room table, and then he took me to get the hammock I was longing for, only for me to pick out a new lounge chair instead. Then we had Mexican take-out for dinner...plus a mucho necesito Margarita at the bar. So, it was a lot better than it could've been, despite my crankiness from feeling like poop. It was such a nice day out too. I'm feeling much better now, just a little achy and congested. 

Since I didn't focus much on cooking anything new and spectacular, I am presenting you with another product review. I finally decided to try BabyGanics® body products, which have been highly recommended to me by several people and have gotten low toxicity ratings on EWG's Skin Deep websiteThey happened to be on sale one day when I was at Babies R Us and in the market for a restock on body products for Lily, so I picked up two bodywashes (one in lavender and one unscented), one bubble bath, one bug spray and one sunscreen.

The first thing we tried was the lavender Soothing Bubble Bath & Body Wash. It smelled really nice, very subtle and soothing, just as the product described. It made a decent amount of bubbles (not as bubbly as these!), but I had to use more than two squirts as recommended. I had to use about five squirts, and our tub is a pretty standard sized tub. We also went through them pretty quickly, which was disappointing. Additionally, I also liked that Lily didn't have a residue feeling on her skin after she rinsed off, as some bubble baths tend to leave. Her skin was silky soft and scented with the delicate perfume of lavender...mmm...

Please don't judge the filthy tiles. I'll get to it, I swear.

See how much bubble bath has already been used after just less than 3 weeks?

The lavender Soothing Foaming Shampoo & Bodywash is wonderful, though! Five stars for sure! It smells AMAZING and a little bit goes a LONG way. I thought the applicator was kind of weird at first, but now I see that it's good at keeping water out and balancing the bottle upright. If your kid is like mine, they tend to drop their bodywashes in the water and then the water gets inside the bottle, making it watery too. It also suds up very nicely from plant-based sources rather than sulfates. 

The weird-looking spout helps keep water out and the bottle standing upright

More about these products:
  • tear-free
  • paraben-free
  • non-toxic
  • plant-based ingredients
  • never tested on animals
  • no synthetics
  • no phthalates
  • no mineral oil
  • petroleum-free
  • sulfate-free
The one thing I found misleading about this product is the fact that it's called "BabyGanics", which to me implies that the product is organic. No where on the ingredients is anything labeled as organic. I visited their website and no where there does it say anything about being organic either. Maybe it's just me, but I truly thought that the name implied their product being organic, but apparently not. No biggie, but I wonder if that has been a peeve with anyone else. 

I haven't tried the bug spray yet, and have only used the sunscreen a few times so far, so I will let you all know how that goes later (so far so good! It's also award-winning according to website)


Stay tuned for some tasty treats coming soon and this month's Up-and-Coming Blog of the Month next week! Hopefully I can keep my act together and not let being sick or anything else keep me down!



Note: I was not paid or asked to write this review, I did it by my own accord. Do you know a great product I should review, or a product you’re curious about but afraid to try? Let me know in the comments! Just please suggest a natural, organic, eco-friendly, or health or food-related product so it will at least coincide with my blog’s theme, thanks!

Linking up today with:










mop it up mondays

Monday, May 7, 2012

Post-Cinco de Mayo Meatless Monday Awesomeness!

 
Cinco de Mayo! Whoo-hoo! Yeah!

Well, today is Siete de Mayo, but I figured I am still within the allotted time span for celebrating holidays. And I did celebrate (somewhat) with a little dinner party I had with some good friends on Saturday. I was also invited to a party, but I did not make it out. That is how it usually goes with me these days…I just can’t hang like I used to. All my single, childless friends say they understand, but I think they secretly all just think I am a square now.

During my college days, Cinco de Mayo meant margaritas, Coronas, and housing bowls of guacamole after over-consuming too much of the former two beverages. I had no idea what the holiday was actually about, and guess what- I still don’t! So I did some research (donate to wikipedia if you can!), and here is what wikipedia had to say:


Not only that, but the day is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (in English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla) in Mexico, and it commemorates, “Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.”(LINK). OK, now I feel better because I learned something new and can look intelligent at the next Cinco de Mayo party I go to (that is, if I actually make it) when I ask other drunken party-goers if they know what the holiday commemorates. Score one for moi!

But, seriously. Now the holiday means consuming delicious Mexican food in my house, and that is what we did. I made Zesty Corn Fitters(LINK) and my traditional Basic Black Beans recipe- which I am so graciously about to share with you below, along with a simple green salad. My friends brought the Coronas and limes! Gotta have those! It was quite a nice evening, even though Lily was a bit on the rampage…

Basic Black Beans
(serves 10+ as a side dish!)

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked black beans
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
½ cup tomato sauce (unseasoned)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp annatto
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Heat the olive oil over low heat, then add the minced garlic and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the beans and mix well with the garlic and onion, then add the water. Bring to a bubbly simmer, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, adding extra seasoning if desired. Serve with rice or corn fritters.



I failed to take a picture of the final product, but this is how it looks right before mixing in the remainder of the seasonings

See? Super easy! That’s how we like it, right? You can use this as is, or top with shredded cheese, or mix in any other tasty ingredient, such as:

  • Bell peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Mixed diced vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, etc.)
  • Shredded or cubed meat (steak, chicken, pork and oxtail all work well- yes, oxtail! It's really good!)
  • Cilantro 

You can also use it a base for chili or blend it up for soup, like in this previous recipe I posted here. Beans are a hit with most people, and super good for you. Most kids dig them…at least I think. Tell me- do your kids like beans? Lily does…most of the time, anyway.

Beans are a staple in most Latin-American diets, and for good reason! They are not only yummy and go with just about any meal, but also aid in digestion. The rice helps to break down the heavy fibers in the beans that some people have difficulty digesting, although beans of course are worth the unfortunate, ahem, flatulence. They contain loads of B vitamins, help lower blood sugar, reduce the risk of many cancers, and help to make a healthy and functioning colon, among many other things.

Now for more fiesta!





And I know it's Meatless Monday and all, but this just looked to good not to share: Skirt Steak Tostadas with Spicy Black Beans and Fresh Mango Salsa from Baking with Blondie


Now here's a cute picture of Lily just because!


Having fun at the playground during a few hours of actual sunshine last week!


Enjoy! Let me know what you did for Cinco de Mayo in the comments below!!



Friday, May 4, 2012

Family Favorite Friday: Creamy Cauliflower and Carrot Curry Soup

With the ever-fluctuating cold/warm weather we've been having lately, a sudden cold spell put me in the mood for a cozy soup...and then it put me in the mood for curry. I looked in my fridge and saw that I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used and a few carrots. I had those, and all the required ingredients for making a curry soup. Huzzah!




Creamy Cauliflower and Carrot Curry Soup
(serves 8+)


Ingredients:


1 head of cauliflower, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 cups cream (light or heavy)
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive, coconut or canola oil (all taste great!)
2 tbsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste (optional)


Saute the onion and garlic in a large pot with the oil for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Mix in the curry powder until onions and garlic are well-coated, cook for another minute, then add the cauliflower and carrot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously for another minute, then add the water and broth. Bring to a boil, adding the salt and pepper to taste and more curry if desired as it cooks. Cook for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.





Once, ready, remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. If you're like me and do not have one of those nifty things, then pour into blender in batches. Be careful not to fill to the top of the blender to avoid over-flowing, and be careful not to burn yourself! Set blended soup mixture aside in separate bowl. 


In the same pot you cooked the vegetables in, melt butter over low heat. Mix in the flour with a beater until smooth, then add the cream. Cook over medium-low heat until smooth and bubbly, whisking as it cooks. Slowly stir in the vegetable soup mix until well-blended with the cream mix. Add in hot sauce if you want it hotter, otherwise serve as is with some toasted bread (I recommend sourdough, naan or rye). 


I decided to add a little extra curry after soup and cream were combined
garnished with a few drops of hot sauce and some parsley


I made this soup for Meatless Monday this week and it has been the best leftovers. I just couldn't wait until Meatless Monday next week to post about it! Paul loved it, I loved it, and even Lily loved it. This is how she had it- as a sauce over steamed cauliflower and carrots:


with a happy blue unicorn!


This is such a yummy soup for a cozy, rainy day that anyone will enjoy. If you don't add the hot sauce, it is quite mild in spiciness so picky eaters should love it too. The carrots give it a nice sweetness, while the cauliflower blends perfectly with the cream. This soup is also a powerhouse of nutrients and health aides, containing vitamins C and K from the cauliflower, vitamin A from the carrots, the cleansing power of turmeric from the curry, and the anti-cancerous and blood pressure-lowering benefits from the garlic. 


Baby can enjoy some of the carrots and cauliflower steamed until very soft, pureed and mixed with breast milk or formula. Add a little whole grain cereal for extra "umph." Carrots and cauliflower are safe for infants over 3 months to eat (depending on what your pediatrician recommends, always check with them first!).


Have a great weekend!





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