17 Weeks

Lets start off with some food talk. How about “better than pizza” avocado toast!

First I toasted organic 9 grain bread, mashed an avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper and then sliced some tomato. Because no one else will eat this I decided to smear half of the avocado on each slice of bread. I thought about saving some for later but didn’t want to risk it going bad! Add the sliced tomato and some shredded cheese and pop it in the broiler until melted. Watch closely! I burnt some leftover corn muffins last week this way…I mean completely black-burnt!

toast and avocado

avocado toast

Yesterday I had a baby check up appointment. The baby’s heartbeat is sounding great at 155-160 beats per minute. This appointment was also the first time they measured my belly! Question: do you ever consider the clothes/shoes you are wearing or wear less jewelry when you know that you’ll be getting on a scale? Pure vanity but I do it every time.

Afterwards we went to Bay Local for lunch. On Monday they do half off appetizers and the hummus plate sounded good to me. House made hummus, garlic toasted pita points, carrots, cucumber, tomato, apples and grapes. Lunch for only $5? Yes, please!

Hummus plate

Don’t be fooled by all the healthy food. I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and had them for a snack for 3 nights in the last week. On Valentines night I crushed 2 cookies over vanilla frozen yogurt. Pure joy!

17 weeks

17 weeks

CrAzY eyes!
How far along? 17 weeks
Baby’s size:¬†about the size of an onion and about 5 inches from head to rump
Total weight gain: 6 pounds
Clothes: Never thought I would be a preggo jeans convert but I am.¬†Some women say they wear their regular jeans throughout their pregnancy but I found that annoying. Once I could no longer button my jeans I wore them with a rubber band. This helped to keep the button from poking out. After a few more weeks the button was not only undone but I also had to leave them unzipped. I have a belly band too but with all of this there is so much constant adjustment needed. Try every time you get up, sit down, go to the bathroom and walk. Are my pants unzipped? Is my shirt long enough? Is my button laying flat? These lifesavers (aka jeans) are AG Adriano Goldschmied maternity jeans that I purchased at A Pea in the Pod. The sales person recommended them over 7 jeans for the stretch and said they are the one brand she sees women being able to wear through their entire pregnancy. I went into the dressing room with a couple of pairs of jeans but as soon as these went on I knew they were the ones. Jeans that feel like leggings? Sold! The price was scary…for this reason these will most likely be the only pair I buy. When the weather gets warmer I have maxi skirts, dresses and other options. For now it’ll be these jeans and leggings! My tank is a racerback tank from Victoria’s Secret. The cardigan is Target from last year.
Feeling: Little baby flutters are happening!
Funny: Travis said he had a dream that he was walking around the house and saw baby legs sticking out from under a table. He thought, “That’s our baby. I found the baby.” I thought I was the one that was supposed to be having the weird dreams right now?!
Cravings: My yogurt, granola and fruit bowls are at the top of the list. One night I wanted a hamburger and grilled asparagus and Travis went out to use the grill in the 20 degree weather!
Drinking: Kevita pomegranate or strawberry acai coconut flavor sparkling probiotic drinks. Decaf coffee with stevia and half-n-half. Sunday I made a faux mimosa with half OJ and half nectarine sparkling water…SO GOOD. Tons of water of course…
Can’t stand the thought of: Still spinach and I also really don’t love onions right now. I can eat them finely diced and cooked into soup or a sauce but no raw ones. Bleck!
Looking forward to: Warm weather!

Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing¬† (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

I thought the only fruit available for my smoothie this morning was bananas. I looove smoothies with “only” bananas. Was getting ready to blurt out the recipe for my banana spice smoothie but I’ll save it for another day…

Avocados are a fruit, so I was wrong, I did have another fruit besides bananas.¬†I made an avocado smoothie a few months back and didn’t like the combo and just never tried again. Today the combo was excellent. Ripe avocados + frozen bananas (they must be frozen so the smoothie will turn out cold and thick) + chocolate protein powder + a little honey for sweetness = drinking it faster than usual because it’s so good.

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • 1 heaping scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • 2 tablespoons local honey

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) on “smoothie” setting. Instagram it! Serves 2. Enjoy!

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

This is a salad that’s not a salad. It’s an un-salad. No lettuce, no salad, right?!

Salmon Nicoise

I love a good tuna nicoise salad when I’m out for lunch. This recipe is a riff on that salad. Yes, other people have switched the tuna for salmon before (I’m not the first!) but I thought I would try the toppings without the greens. It was good and fun to eat!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

For the salad

  • fresh salmon – sprinkle with kosher salt/ pepper and lemon zest. bake at 425 degrees until done
  • fresh green beans – cooked to desired done-ness
  • black and green olives
  • sliced avocado
  • new potatoes, sliced boiled and chilled
  • hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • tomato chunks

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I made the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs earlier in the day and chilled them in the fridge. This was there was a nice combo of warm and cold on the plate. The potatoes were amazing with the dressing…kind of like a no-mayo potato salad.

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. (you will have extra vinaigrette for a salad the next day) Enjoy!

 

Halibut with Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

I went to the store yesterday with cod on my grocery list but the halibut was on sale…endofstory. Just kidding, another selling point was the fact it was wild caught and sustainable. Halibut is awesome when paired with a little sweetness and it loves when you shower it with citrus. Toss in some fresh herbs. Avocado. Tomato. Done. mango avocado salsa For the halibut: season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, get a pan really hot and add a splash of EVOO, then sear the fish for about 3 min per side. I made a bed of plain quinoa, then added the halibut and topped with plenty of the salsa. We ate all of the salsa between 2 people so if you are feeding more…make MORE ūüôā halibut with mango avocado salsa

Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced mango, thawed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives (I use kitchen shears…easier than a knife!)
  • 1 tablespoons¬†extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Toss together in a small bowl and enjoy outside!

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food:

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana and organic peanut butter

Lunch: a chicken burrito (rice/black beans/salsa/cheese) with guacamole from Alamo

Dinner: We heated up the grill – charcoal style – and enjoyed a filet. Served with soba noodles tossed with sauteed zucchini, sliced green onions, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Kimchi on the side!

Monday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla agave yogurt, strawberries and blueberries

Lunch: Leftover soba noodles and a few slices of leftover steak

Dinner: Homemade pizza with broccoli, shallots and lots-O-mozz cheese

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, banana, chia seeds and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: I visited my sister Angela and my nephews for the day. We always have lunch together when I visit so I came prepared with some leftover pizza dough, an avocado, a lemon and some cheese. I had the idea to pre-bake the crust with a little olive oil, mash the avocado with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and then top it with a little cheese. My sister had a roma tomato so we decided to add that in. My nephews both LOVE tomatoes….errr “manos”….that’s their pronunciation!

Here’s the crust getting smeared with avocado…

pizza

…and with all the toppings. After this step we baked it for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese…and then there were no more pics because we devoured it!

pizza with avocado, tomato and cheese

Dinner: We were invited to our friends Ashley and Cade’s house for dinner. They started a fire in the fire pit and got their charcoal grill going. Soon they were cooking up salmon fillets and roasting romaine which had been drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. There was also some warm rosemary bread to go with it. It was too delicious and too much fun for a standard Tuesday night! I a-l-m-o-s-t felt guilty!

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, cinnamon and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: Leftover cold soba noodles, steamed broccoli and a fried egg

cold soba noodles, broccoli and fried egg

Dinner: Maple Dijon Chicken and spinach & mixed greens salad with diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, walnuts, chunks of brie and lemon vinaigrette

salad

Thursday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, cinnamon, ginger, flax seeds and sliced almonds

Lunch: a vegetarian burrito bowl with guacamole from Chipotle (it’s been forever since I had one of those!)

Dinner: grilled skirt steak, smashed potatoes and the same type of salad we had yesterday (minus the walnuts because I didn’t have any more)

Friday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple…and GRANOLA hello!

Lunch: My fiance’s grandfather passed away this week. At 96 his funeral today was a celebration of his life. I will miss his wit and charm. He couldn’t hear yet refused to wear a hearing aid and this caused endless laughs with his misunderstandings what he thought he heard. Though I believe sometimes he was just playing. For a long time he has called me his daughter-in-law even though I’m engaged to his grandson (doesn’t that make me his grandaughter-in law?). Every time we visited he asked Travis, “when are you going to marry that girl? If I was 50 years younger I’d do it for you.” You couldn’t visit Walter Haney Carper without leaving with a smile on your face! Today I snacked for lunch: ham, a deviled egg, a little pasta salad, fruit and 2 small cookies

Dinner: Back over to Ashley and Cade’s house. She made these incredible bowls with slices of pork loin, broth, sliced cabbage, carrots, avocado and cilantro. It was a little like pho without the noodles.

Saturday

Breakfast:¬†granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana…

granola bowl

Lunch:¬†black beans, avocado, cheese and Mother in Law’s kimchi

Lunch: black beans, avocado, cheese and kimchi

Dinner: Mom’s Siam¬†for some thai food on the patio. I had a dish with watercress, ginger, broccoli, green beans and shrimp. Super yum!

Weekly Eats

Our 3rd week in Key West ended on Friday with an 18-hour ride back to VA. Many good memories and good times!

Sunday

Breakfast: a papaya- mango yogurt cup and a half of a Kind bar

Lunch: Lagerheads Beach Bar Рwe ordered fish tacos and crab cakes (comes with 2 cakes topped with the same mango salsa that are on the tacos). Then we each had 1 taco and 1 crab cake. A cantaloupe slice and a small chocolate chip cookie also came with it.

Dinner: Smokin’ Tuna – yellowtail in a soy-ginger sauce with cole slaw and corn on the cob on the side.

Monday

Breakfast: homemade yogurt, granola and fruit bowls.

breakfast fixins

fruit, yogurt, granola bowls

Lunch: Bad Boy Burrito – a burrito with chicken, mango-habenero salsa, avocado, red onion, cojita cheese, sour cream and their rice/black beans. Eaten by the pool at Southernmost Mansion!

Dinner: We grilled out with our friends Emily and Rick on their boat. Steak, sausage, hot dogs, cole slaw and cauliflower. Very good!!

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk,  banana, blueberries, peaches and blueberry cardamom yogurt. Then I spilled one of the smoothies all over the counter. Smoothie-abuse!

Lunch: I sauteed more of our freshly caught fish and served it with cole slaw and a side of black beans, topped with a fried egg, a sprinkle of cheese and some salsa.

fresh fish

Randolph and Walter got a haircut and bath today!

Randolph, walter and me

Dinner: Santiago’s Bodega – we sat at an outside table and shared a greek salad, the mako shark special, the lamp chops and the camembert wedge with roasted red pepper/almonds/apricot. Then Travis had to go and order the bread pudding! What?! Of course, I want some…

Wednesday

Breakfast:¬†smoothie with almond milk, banana, frozen cherries…topped with a little granola for crunch and some strawberry slices. Chomp-chomp!

cherry,  banana smoothie with granola and strawberries

Walter with a sand beard and Randolph

Lunch: We grilled up 2 small super-thin steaks and served them with more of the coleslaw and some potatoes and onions cooked together with a fried egg on top. Salsa on the side. SO good after spending a couple of hours on the beach that morning.

Dinner: Sushi at Origami

Elissa

Thursday

Breakfast: a yogurt-fruit-granola bowl made with dark cherry chai yogurt. Super yum!

dark cherry chai

Lunch: Lagerheads Beach Bar Рshared a hamburger with my man

Dinner: Abbodanza – Our friend Rick’s fav spot so we ate dinner together on our last night in Key West. I had the pasta primavera.¬†

Friday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, frozen cherries, strawberries and a vanilla agave yogurt cup.

Lunch: a lobster roll (local spiny lobster) at a small local fishery in Marathon, FL

Dinner: Sushi, edamame and miso soup in Jacksonsville, FL

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, protein powder, blueberries, pineapple and banana

Lunch: leftover pasta primavera

Dinner: The last of our Key West fresh-catch snapper. I roasted them with salt, pepper, EVOO and lemon slices. Fresh asparagus and pine nut cous cous on the side.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food. We’re still in sunny, perfect Key West!

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, protein powder and almond butter

Lunch: 6 Toed Cat – a “hogfish” benedict with tons of avocado and tomato and perfectly runny eggs.

Dinner: Half Shell Raw Bar Рwe had to do the cheap happy hour seafood again! Oysters, clams, shrimp and tuna!

Monday

Lunch: Went by¬†Cuban Coffee Queen¬†about 9:30am because it’s right by Conch Harbor Marina where our friends and their boats are. We had a day of deep sea fishing planned and this is where I made a pit stop for 2 cuban sandwiches for lunch on the boat. I also got us both an iced coffee and a smoothie. Amazingly delicious!

Here are some of the fish we caught:

Key west fish

Dinner: Freshly caught fish, steamed broccoli and an iceberg lettuce-cucumber-tomato-onion salad!

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and PB2.

Lunch: I went to Big Pine Key with my friend Emily for the day. We left my house before I had a chance to eat so my lunch was a Cliff bar and a banana. I also ate some smarties by the pool!

We took a 2 mile walk on a trail that her grandfather made. How awesome-sweet is that? He has been spending the winter in the same campground for 38 years. The rest of the time he lives in Iowa. These are some Gumbo Limbo trees near the end of the trail.

Gumbo Limbo trees in Big Pine Key

I also got to feed and pet a Key Deer (no pics!) and we went to a small state park where 2 alligators live but they didn’t surface for us to see them. We saw turtle though!

turtle

Before we headed back to Key West we stopped in No Name Key at the No Name Pub for a drink. Sangria!!

sangria from No Name pub

Dinner: More of the freshly caught fish, steamed spinach and more of that ravioli with sweet potato and kale (like I had last week). We also had a sourdough bread roll.

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and almond butter

Lunch: We headed over to Simonton St. beach for about 4 hours on Wednesday. We rented a couple of beach loungers and played with our dogs, got in the water and soaked up the sun. There is a little cafe there called Lagerheads Beach Bar¬†and everyone was raving about their fish tacos so that’s what I had to try. Tons of fresh tuna topped with cabbage, finely diced mango and tomatoes and drizzled with some yummy special sauce. On the side was a slice of cantaloupe and a chocolate chip cookie. YUM-ME!

Simonton St Beach, Key West

Dinner: Old Town Mexican Cafe – veggie tostada with corn tortillas, squash, onions, greens, beans, olives, tomato, guacamole, cheese and sour cream.

Veggie tostada

Thursday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and protein powder

Lunch: 6 Toed Cat¬†– AGAIN! This time a crabcake benedict with tons of avocado and spinach and gooey-ooey runny eggs (I didn’t eat the hashbrowns). I also shared some granola, fruit and yogurt with Travis.

crabcake benedict

granola, fruit and yogurt

Dinner: We ate dinner in 2 parts. Dinner #1 was for happy hour appetizers at Half Shell Raw Bar. We had raw oysters and clams and a drink. Then, since it was our first rainy night during our trip, we went home and ordered delivery from The Cafe. We both had the lasagna special: mushroom, eggplant and a cilantro ricotta. That came with a side salad with carrots, cabbage, tomato and sprouts all topped off with a balsamic vinaigrette!

veggie lasagna and salad

Friday

Breakfast: A carrot cake Cliff bar

Lunch: A spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, blue cheese, onion, shrimp and raspberry vinaigrette.

Spinach salad

Dinner: Blue Heaven – seared scallops, wild rice, corn salsa, green beans and cornbread. This place usually has a long wait but we went in on a whim and not only were seated right away but got a table right next to the live music. I hugged the hostess!

Saturday

Breakfast: a Mango smootie and iced coffee from Cuban Coffee Queen

Lunch: Half of a cuban sandwich from Cuban Coffee Queen (extra pickles!) and a half of a granola bar.

Dinner: More of our freshly caught fish. I baked it with salt, pepper and taco seasoning. Then we created fish tacos with lettuce, sour cream, jalenpenos, salsa, avocado and cheese. We also ate a mix of corn and lima beans on the side.

Weekly Eats

We have been in Key West Florida for the past week! Sunny days. 80 degrees. Palm trees. Beaches and pools. Fishing and friends. Here’s what I ate…

Look at all those doggy paw prints in the sand:

Simonton st beach

Sunday

Lunch: Subway – 6 inch turkey on wheat with fixin’s

Dinner: The Cafe – stir fry bowl with soba noodles, squash, red & green cabbage, celery, broccoli, edamame and shrimp

Monday

Lunch: Bad Boy Burrito – burrito with chicken, queso fresco, cabbage, red onion escabeche, avocado and mango habenero salsa. We also shared a green smoothie with kale, spinach, banana and pineapple.

Dinner: Abbodanza Рpenne primavera with broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, zucchini, squash and mushrooms!

Randolph, Walter and Lola

Tuesday

Lunch: Fishing trip day! I thought we would only be gone for 3 hours but that turned into 6 hours so this is all I had until dinner: 1 cup of coffee, a half of a Kind bar (the other half went through the holes in the basket of my bike!) and a pack of peanut butter crackers.

Dinner: Old Town Mexican cafe – Snapper served with sauteed spinach, rice and black beans. I also had a side of guacamole with my chips and salsa.

Wednesday

Lunch: Lobo’s – I got the “#1″…a veggie wrap with spinach, romaine, sprouts, mushrooms, avocado, green peppers, tomato and a dill sauce.

Dinner: Fresh caught black-belly-rose-fish (from Tuesday’s trip) served with sauteed spinach and some ravioli with sweet potato and kale that I bought at the store.

black belly rose fish

Thursday

Lunch: La Creperie –¬†La Veggie with spinach, mushrooms, chives, tomatoes and goat cheese. I added avocado.

Dinner: Half Shell Raw Bar – raw clams, oysters and peel-n-eat shrimp. The best happy hour prices ever! You can pig out on fresh seafood and have to try hard to spend $50!

classic Key West rooster

Friday

Lunch: Banana Cafe Рtuna nicoise salad. Can you say key lime vinaigrette? Tangy awesome-ness!

Dinner:¬†Lobo’s¬†– a quesadilla packed with veggies like spinach, onion, mushrooms and avocado.

Key West sunset

Saturday

Lunch: an authentic cuban sandwich with extra pickles from Ana’s Cuban Grocery. I think this had the most meat that I ate all week!

Dinner: sushi, edamame and miso soup from Origami before going on a late night fishing trip!

Weekly Eats

What I did and what I ate:

Sunday

Lunch: Salmon cakes and fried eggs

Dinner: Roasted chicken served with lima beans and corn.

Monday

Lunch: Guacamole with tortilla chips. Leftover lima beans and corn.

Dinner: Yesterday was my youngest brother, Isaac’s, 21st birthday and he came over for dinner along with my Mom and my other brother Ben. (I missed my 2 sisters!!! **insert scream here**) We made¬†¬†Homemade pizza. One vegetarian version with spinach, sliced asparagus, sliced shallots and mozz cheese. One with spinach, crumbled italian sausage, sliced shallots and mozz cheese. For dessert: buckwheat brownies with walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Tuesday

Lunch: Quinoa salad with pinto beans, 1 zucchini diced and lightly sauteed, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder . Served with a dallop of leftover guacamole and a few sprinkles of cheese.

Quinoa salad with guacamole

Dinner: Spaghetti with turkey meatballs and a homemade tomato sauce: diced tomatoes, tons of garlic, shallots. Broccoli on the side.

Wednesday

Lunch: Out to eat

Dinner: Out to eat (again!) at Haiku.

Thursday

Lunch: Leftover quinoa from Tuesday.

Went to visit my friend Dana and her adorable twins Sarah and Leah!

Me and the Holt girls

Dinner: Collard greens and roasted shrimp with grits!

collards, grits and shrimp

Friday

Lunch: Went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and got the salad bar for lunch.

Dinner: Whole roasted red snapper (I did the Asian version)! Steamed broccoli and cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Leftover grits.

Saturday

Lunch: We decided to take off to Virginia Beach for a night trip. It’s only about an hour and a half drive from where we live! Stopped at Doc Taylor’s¬†as soon as we got into town and I had a $2 bloody mary and a grilled veggie wrap! Well ok…2 – $2 bloody marys! A great little spot!

Dinner: Enjoyed a big bowl of shrimp pho and some raw oysters at Tautog’s. Then we went by our friends house and around 10pm went out to Abbey Road for some music.

me in va beach