Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Meals Since Baby Max Arrived - What to Feed New Parents

Being a new parent is A LOT of work.  As a new parent I spend most of the day on a constant rotation of feeding, changing diapers, and sleeping. This rotation leaves little time for meal preparation.  In fact I have had little time for meal intake period - sleep has been a priority.  Of course as a dietitian I know I need to eat, but my timing has been a bit crazy.

Fortunately we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and neighbors with meal deliveries. There is certainly a time and place for casseroles and after a new baby is a time.  For the past three weeks we have received a variety of casseroles (and a few meals that were not casseroles).  We really enjoyed trying all kinds of new casseroles and I wanted to share with you the recipes. Some were healthy and some were not (I plan on trying to recreate healthier versions of the not so healthy casseroles).

So here you go, a list of Casseroles to take to new parents: (click on the recipe title for link to recipe)
  • Quinoa, Grape, and Chicken Casserole : (pictured above).  By far the healthiest recipe we received.  A cold dish with quinoa, chicken, grapes, and sliced almonds.  I would have never put the ingredients together but the sweetness of the grapes helps to bring the flavors together.  
  • Chili Spaghetti Casserole: A creative twist on chili and exciting change from traditional italian inspired casseroles with a marina sauce base. Whole wheat pasta was used for the dish we received. 
  • Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole: Other than the large content of rice, the recipe consists of lower calorie items. The basis of the casserole is refried beans, rice, and enchilada sauce.  Shredded chicken, cilantro, and cheese are also included in the Mexican inspired dish.
  • Angel Chicken Casserole: By far the least healthy dish we received, but absolutely delicious. The creamy pasta (rigatoni) and chicken dish was full of flavor from the dry white wine, cheese, and seasoning used to create the dish.  
  • Easy Rigatoni Casserole: You can never go wrong with a simple pasta bake. All you need is a marinara sauce, pasta, cheese, and basil. 
In addition to the casseroles we also received an oatmeal bake, chicken coconut curry, beef enchiladas, meat loaf, chili with salsa verde.  Again so thankful for all of this help!  Not only are we totally spoiled, but completely grateful that meal preparation has been one less thing we have had to think about.

Next time one of my friends or family members has a baby I will for sure try to reciprocate the kindness!

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Welcome Baby Max!

Wondering why I have been MIA?  Well two weeks ago this cutie arrived and has been keeping us quite busy!  He arrived about 10 days early, which I totally did not expect.  I had plans to have a few blog posts prepared before he arrived, but his early arrival threw that plan off.

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity our friends and family have expressed.  The meals have been endless.  In an upcoming post I plan on sharing some of the recipes for the delicious dishes we have received.

Be back in a few weeks (possibly sooner) so stay tuned.....


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Yogurt Pop Recipe + Fresh Baby Review & GIVEAWAY

The weather may be getting a bit cooler, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a popsicle.  I have been brainstorming on this recipe for Pumpkin Yogurt Popsicles since last year and was so excited when the folks over at Fresh Baby reached out to me about reviewing their Popsicle Mold.  It's a  perfect time to try out the Pumpkin Yogurt Popsicle recipe!

If you are a pumpkin lover this recipe is perfect for you.  The popsicles offer a slightly sweetened and creamy pumpkin flavored cold treat.  Each popsicle provides nearly 9 grams of protein and less than 10 grams of sugar for less than 80 calories!  A perfect lower calorie snack or treat for after meal time.  The question is - will you be able to stop at one?!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta Sauce

I am still in the fall cooking mood over here at 360FamilyNutrition!  Why not move on from pumpkin to butternut squash?!

Last night for dinner I created this Butternut Squash and Kale Pasta Sauce recipe and paired it with Baked Pizza Taquitos from The Baker Mama.  Certainly a strange combination of food, but both were food dishes I was craving. We had never tried the Pizza Taquitos - and they certainly didn't disappoint!  It was an easy recipe your family will be sure to love!  Perfect finger food for the kiddos or to pack in lunch boxes. I can't wait to have leftovers for lunch.

Last fall I made a dish using the butternut squash as a pasta sauce and wasn't thrilled with the outcome.  While I love sweet foods, I am not a fan of overly sweet for my main meal.  Butternut squash can certainly be overly sweet if the correct spices and other ingredients are not added.  To tame the sweetness of the sauce I decided to add a small amount of plain Greek yogurt (and to add some creaminess), low sodium vegetable broth, and kale.  They all did the trick!  The outcome was a delicious and only slightly sweetened light pasta sauce.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Cake Balls

A few weeks ago one of my blogger idols, The Baker Mama, posted a picture of Pumpkin Cake Balls on her Instagram page.  I instantly feel in love and knew I needed to make a healthier recreation of this recipe.

My idea to "healthify" the recipe was to use 70% cocoa dark chocolate instead of candy melts for the outer shell. Dark chocolate has less sugar, fat, and calories.  It can also offer some antioxidant benefits.  I decided to skip the pumpkin cake mix and just use a white cake mix. While this doesn't save calories I wanted to be able to manipulate the pumpkin flavor.

Well sometimes recipes just shouldn't be altered. The result was a cake ball in which I could only taste the dark chocolate - I wasn't able to taste the pumpkin cake flavor at all.  Additionally the dark chocolate took forever to harden and created quite a mess.  Needless to say I was not satisfied with the outcome.

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