Last week we had one of those moments.
You know those idyllic parenting moments you dream about and then you become parents and sometimes the moments you pictured in your head don't quite turn out because #reallife. Well this wasn't one of those. It was one of those beautiful, just-as-I-always-pictured-it moments and I am so thankful for God for the memories we got to make when we took our one year old to the pumpkin patch this year.
Grey adored EVERY part of the day at the "Pum Pum" Patch, that he so affectionately calls it, which in turn made ME enjoy every part of the day and made my mama heart extremely happy. He played in corn (yay sensory activity I didn't have to clean up, haha), fed a goat, rode a massive tire swing, slid down a huge slide with me and Mr. Charming, picked a baby pumpkin and ran until his cheeks turned pink and his legs grew tired.
Yes, it was a beautiful Fall day indeed. And for those of you in Arizona, we drove up to Dewey (just outside of Prescott) to Mortimer Farms and its by far my new favorite fall spot.
We've been trying to be more intentional this season. Intentional about our quality time together as a family, intentional about how we care for our marriage, our home, our bodies.
I've been doing a life changing Proverbs 31 Study this month and it's motivated me to spend more time with God, purge our home of things we don't need and up my game again in the kitchen to get nutritious, home cooked meals in me and the boys.
Even as a nutritionist, I was falling short (and can totally admit it) when it came to putting the best food on the table when I was in new mama territory.
This Quinoa bowl was ACTUALLY a total accident, as I had white quinoa in the freezer and my husband was on his way home for lunch and I wanted to give him something healthy as we're trying to keep our immune systems boosted and our calories down and this bowl was born.
And. It. Was. Gosh. Darn. Amazing.
The flavors came together SO beautifully. I love when you throw together what you have left in the fridge and you make an epic creation. This bowl needs to be made and enjoyed. The hot quinoa and roasted sweet potato with the crunchy cool tomatoes and avocado play with your senses, while the olive oil, sea salt and pepper enhance the natural flavors in the dish.
A simply and easy meal for any weeknight or lunch hour. Recipe below per usual.
Yesterday was just one of those good days.
When you wake up feeling super sunny after a good nights sleep (even with a new baby!) and you get good news throughout the day (like my French Toast being featured in the Today Show's weekly newsletter and that your mom is on the mend and going home soon) and you get to take the day at a slow pace and end it with some of your best friends who you haven't seen in months and enjoy good, good food.
Yes, one of those lovely days.
Thanking the Lord for a soul refresher for sure. After a week of stress at work and my mom being in the hospital, it was just what we needed.
Mr. Charming and I adore the couple we had over for our Friday Night Dinner last night. Our friends Karly and Zach and their adorable kiddos no longer live in AZ and we miss them terribly and soak in every moment we get to hang out with them. Karly and I have been friends for years. Before marriage. Before babies. And they are just those people who you just want to hug and beg to move back every time you see them because you just love doing life with them and love seeing their kiddos grow.
Yes, friends like that.
Friends like that, I've found as I get older, are harder and harder to come by, which is why nights like last night are so very special.
And speaking of special, I wanted to cook them something SUPER yum to warm our bellies as we let the kiddos play and caught up on what was going on in our lives. I TOTALLY meant to get photos of the evening, but we were having too much fun and the food was just too good and so after snapping photos of the food post-enjoyment, the cameras and phones were pushed aside and we just enjoyed.
Which I believe needs to happen in social situations more often. I don't even think I knew where my phone was all night. Which was a very refreshing break for me.
Their family eats like we do (gluten-free, dairy-free and clean) so it was easy to know that the ingredients I use are the same foods they eat at home. I was going to go easy at first and whip up a big pot of spaghetti, but then I found gluten-free breadcrumbs and vegan cheese, thus birthing my Reinvented Baked Ziti. SO good.
I made food enough to feed an army. You should see how much we had leftover, haha. So I cut my recipe in half to make a more normal family dinner amount. Just double it if, you too, want a truckload of ziti to feed your family for a week.
I am having a winter love affair with bowls of all kinds. From my dimensional breakfast bowls like this one, to my daily lunch bowls that satisfy the deepest hunger of a breastfeeding mama I can't get enough.
As we continue to host our Friday Night Dinners, this past week my hubs and I were running late and pretty tired after a long week of a healing baby so Mr. Charming and our friend got Chipotle. Instead of getting one of their bowls, I decided to make my own for more options.
Below is how I make my spicy, savory, ultra flavorful Chicken Burrito Bowl. So many textures, so many nuances of spice - a craveable must-have for your meal plan arsenal.
Think of the possibilities you could incorporate. You could omit the beans and rice, add salsa and more veggies to make it Whole 30 and Paleo friendly. Swap out the sauce for a creamy cashew cheese. To make it vegan, lose the mayo and chicken and add bell peppers and spiced tofu.
That's what I love most about bowls, the versatility.
If you try it, let me know how YOU made it your own!
It's amazing how delicious something can become when you literally just throw things together.
Still under the weather, I've been scrambling to make hearty, healthy meals without having to hit the store in this windy, chilly weather. Enter my Teriyaki Chicken Apple Bowl. Which not only took literally less than 10 minutes to make, it was actually AMAZING and I suspect will be something I now crave on the regular.
Funny how that happens isn't it?
The sauteed spinach MAKES this bowl, as does the teriyaki drizzle. And if you're not into teriyaki sauce loaded with soy and sugar and all that bad stuff, you're in luck because this is a teriyaki sauce made from coconut aminos and is clean and delicious.
I also suggest making a double batch of this, which the recipe below reflects, because... leftovers.
dairy free - gluten free - soy free - sugar free - egg free
This. Pasta. Is. Melt. In. Your. Mouth. Delicious.
And I still can't believe I made a sauce oh so creamy that you'd swear there's no way it's dairy free.
But it is TOTALLY dairy-free guys.
Mr. Charming has been craving alfredo sauce lately. #SadPanda for Mandi. And my eighth month of pregnancy is bringing about AWESOME heartburn so tomato sauce is an enemy of mine at the moment. So what's a girl to do when she wants pasta night? Create something wonderful of course.
Chicken Apple Sausage has also been a spring staple in our meals and with baby cravings greens, so have crisp asparagus spears.
The recipe for the Sweet Onion Cream Sauce is super easy and takes no time at all. Enjoy!
2 TBSP. Olive Oil
1/3 Sweet Onion, diced (to cut the sweetness, use a white onion)
1 c. Cooked and Chopped Asparagus Stalks. (My video on cooking asparagus in under five minutes)
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 TBSP. Tapioca Starch
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 1/2 C. Dairy-Free Coconut Culinary Milk (my secret in this is that I use the So Delicious Plain Coconut Coffee Creamer instead, but either works)
1 TBSP. Lemon Juice
Black Pepper To Taste
1 c. Gluten Free Penne
1 Aidells Apple Chicken Sausage
Cook pasta to package directions, drain and set aside.
Heat a medium-large skillet over medium-high and cook diced onion and garlic until translucent.
Add 1/2 c. of coconut creamer or culinary milk to a bowl and whisk together with the tapioca starch.
Add 1 C. of the remaining coconut cream or culinary milk to the pan with the garlic and onions, mixing in the starch/cream mixture to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is thickening cook your sausage to desired doneness and cut into coins.
Once the desired thickness has been reached, turn the heat to low and add lemon juice and asparagus.
Toss the sauce with the pasta and sausage and serve hot.
So delicious guys. So, so delicious.
Spring has sprung and that means family picnics, holidays beginning again and basking in my second trimester "glow".
I'm glad to have gotten back into the swing of working and taking care of our home again. The first trimester was rough on me. You can read about that here and here. But the nausea and fatigue has subsided and I feel productive again. (YAY!) There are many exciting things in the works for the blog & my nutrition business launch, as well as my role as Managing Editor for BASIC Magazine. We are wrapping our second issue, our Spring issue, and that's taken most of my time lately, I was even proofing in between prepping tonights delicious dinner.
With St. Patrick's Day just a couple of days away, I wanted something traditional that's easy for you all to prepare as well. Trader Joe's has an amazing pre-cooked Corned Beef right now that you just throw in the oven for 35 minutes and voila! you have dinner. We tasted it on a recent shopping trip and knew it had to be the star of our dinner to celebrate the Irish holiday.
I'm also thankful I have my appetite back. For so long I was too nauseous to eat much of anything, then it was weird random cravings, followed by a short lived (thank God) vegetable aversion and finally the baby has tapped into his or her mama's foodie style and now I'm back to craving all of my Paleo favorites. Eggs are still the star that make me feel the best.
We went with the traditional white fingerling potatoes to accompany the corned beef, even though white potatoes aren't my best friend some days. I've abstained from potatoes for the most part so we splurged tonight. They are best served warm with vegan butter, herbs and sea salt or paleo ketchup. If you are off white potato, try the corned beef with one of my following side dishes that would pair wonderfully with this traditional dish:
I also added my Maple Thyme Carrots for some added vegetable content in the dish.
And of course, it wouldn't be the full traditional meal without my Apple Cider Cabbage which you can prepare and cook while your main dish is in the oven. It has amazing cleansing benefits and adds a great nutrient boost.
I would love to know if you enjoyed if you tried any combination above or share what your favorite St. Pattie's Day meal is!
It's officially Fall. This fact means my palette begins to crave all the fall favorites. Soups, stews, turkey, sweet potatoes and all the traditional Thanksgiving-related fixings. However, living in Arizona, it's still reaching triple digits and it doesn't sound like the funnest afternoon to have my oven heating the house to temperatures that will melt us.
That's where my Thanksgiving-inspired salad comes in. This is one of my favorite go-to lunches right now. Super simple, crisp and cool, I still get to please my palette with falls favorite tastes. Juicy turkey breast? Check. Sweet, tart cranberries, check. And to top it off I pair this with a cool, savory side of bacon and sweet potato salad and boom, it's like Thanksgiving and summer made a love child.
A love child of crisp, cool, crunchy goodness that bursts with all the flavors of the holiday season.
Fresh turkey breast, shredded
1-2 C. Organic Romaine Lettuce
Steve's Paleo Goods Cranberries (no added sugar or corn syrup)
Toss & top with a cranberry vinaigrette or Apple Cider Vinegar & enjoy!
After Mr. Charming and I spent the day Dating Our City, we knew we wanted to end it with a lovely evening at home with a delicious meal. And we wanted to try something new.
There seems to be a new phenomenon in the Paleo world in the form of a new book. Being a part of the Paleo community, I'm probably more exposed to things of this nature than most, but I couldn't deny that a certain title kept coming up again and again and again. Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall.
Russ Crandall, like many of us in the Paleo world, suffered health ailments that brought him to the realization that food can heal. Except he struggled with much more than the average 20-something. At the young age of twenty-five, Crandall suffered a stroke and has since used his struggles and his story to inspire others through food. A concept very near & dear to my heart.
Not only is his story inspiring, but he is hands on with his readers. Answering questions, helping to tweak recipes and touring to meet his fans and readers face to face. In the day and age we live in, it's so refreshing to still see that since of connection & community. And aside from all of the RAVE food reviews after people trying out his recipes, it was something endearing that made me RUSH out to pick up my own copy.
Now, here on Nosh & Nurture, I try to infuse a lot of "comfort" food and easy recipes here, to show you that you CAN cook healthy and fast at home. Russ shows us that delicious take-out doesn't have to be a thing of our past. With a background in food, he put together a curated collection of a delicious mix of foods from around the world that are typical 'fast food' eats - and then made them Paleo.
The first one I tried was a dish I've missed for nearly five years. Honey Sesame Chicken. I altered the recipe slightly to my specifications and needs, (ie: no sesame seeds pictured on mine) but I can tell you hands down that 1. It was 100% satisfying. 2. It was 1000% delicious and 3. I will be serving this at a dinner party in the very near future.
That third statement is huge. When it comes to hosting dinner parties I only ever serve food that is not only Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free, but I serve food that will pass off as the "real deal". Food that kids will not only eat but enjoy and foods that make people ask, "where can I get more of this?"
Mr. Charming and I will be trying many more of Mr. Crandall's recipes and I can tell you it's the best $20 I've spent in a long time.
For more information on Paleo Takeout visit his website here, or the facebook group here, where you can connect with all of us foodies who are trying out his book, page by delicious page.
P.S. this is not a sponsored post. Just a post by a fan who wants to hug this man for bringing crispy honey chicken back into my life.
I've been really, really bad at doing recipe testing and food photography lately. Finishing up school for my diploma in Personal Nutrition, working full time, trying to start our family & blogging gets to be a bit much (don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do, but by the end of the day, I'd rather make something I know it quick and nutritious.
I'll get back to making more elaborate and yummy special stuff, but for tonight. Here's #WhatIAte.
When shopping at Sprouts over the weekend they had a box of Organic Turkey Patties in stock - just two ingredients: Organic Turkey & Rosemary. They were a bit pricey, but with multiple case studies, work and the blog - paying $10.99 for a whole box was worth it to me to make sure I'm eating protein over carbs when I'm in a time crunch.
I bought a pre-diced container of organic onion while I was there too. Makes it so easy to throw a handful into the pan while the meat is cooking (I did 8 minutes on each side for the patty, I like my meat a little more 'done' than most.)
My friend and I hit Whole Foods while we were in the area (the closest one is about 25 miles from me) and I found a bag of Paleo cranberries. Again just two ingredients - cranberries & pure apple juice for the preservative/sweetener. I rarely do dried fruit, but for some reason I was craving a salad with fruit on top so I added some along with fresh organic pear on a bed of butter lettuce and topped it all with Apple Cider Vinegar to give it a tangy kick that will help detox.
It's become one of my new favorite summer lunches. What is on your plate this season?
2 medium organic sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter + 2 Tsp. Earth Balance butter
1 large sweet onion
1 large Hass avocado
Handful of organic cherry tomatoes
1 rotisserie chicken
1 clove fresh garlic
Handful of fresh organic spinach
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke holes in potato to allow steam out. Place sweet potato on cookie sheet and bake for 75-85 minutes or until soft.
When the potatoes have about 20 minutes remaining, shred chicken and saute in large frying pan with 1 Tbsp. EB butter and clove of chopped garlic over medium heat.
Chop onion and in a separate small frying pan, cook onion, covered, over low-medium heat with 1 Tsbp of EB butter until brown and caramelized.
Once potato is cooked, cut open and insert 1 tsp EB butter into each potato and allow to melt. Top with carmalized onions, spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado. Serve with shredded chicken and organic unsweetened applesauce.
*for vegan, omit the chicken.
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around health-palooza with ways to incorporate organic products into your home & beauty cabinet. I also include tips on spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.