Easy Simple Salmon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of eating fish.

Between the smell, the scales, and it’s oogly eyes….no way. Not happening.

I remember growing up my mom would make it occasionally, and each time I would SWEAR that the whole house smelled like a fishy ocean…I’d then proceed to whine and complain, while throwing myself on the couch in agony…Poor little me.

Nothing really changed until I went on a 6 week study abroad program through Central America, and a lot of times we had to eat the food we were given. I remember one night we ate at a little restaurant in Guatemala and our whole class was being served Salmon.

Obviously I wasn’t thrilled that I had to eat it, but when my plate arrived I was pretty shocked.

My salmon was drenched in some sort of sauce that looked like gravy, and then there was a handful of fresh lemons on my plate. I proceeded to squeeze juice on the Salmon and take a bite…

I died.

I don’t know exactly what that sauce was made of, but I have an idea it rhymes with nutter. All I can say is that it tasted like Christmas morning and Paula Deen was in the kitchen melting butter.

Some day I’ll recreate that salmon…As soon as I figure out how to make a pound of butter healthier…

For now though I’ve learned to stomach salmon, just as long as it falls under certain guidlines.

It HAS to be fresh. The fresher it is, the less fishy it taste. It also has to have a little flavor. I know some people can eat it with just a squeeze of lemon, but like I said before…Not happenin’.

Ingredients:

Filet of Salmon

melted coconut oil

salt

pepper

lemons

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil, and place salmon fillets on the dish. Coat salmon with melted coconut oil, just until fully coated. (Not too much oil.) Then liberally salt and pepper salmon. (Can do both sides if the other side isn’t skin, otherwise you don’t have to coat skin. Also, have salmon be skin side down.)

2. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until salmon is light pink and flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.

We ate it over caramelized brussel sprouts and brown rice!

Of coarse Boo didn’t touch the sprouts, but she did eat the Salmon.

I told her it was pink chicken…

Best mom advice like ever.. :)

Oh, and I never shared our Halloween costumes that we had this year! If you can guess what I am, I would be So surprised!

I am not a hooker…

My husband was that one guy…from LMFAO…

And no I’m not a clown hooker…wrong again. I’ll give you a clue:

Kay-dollar sign-Ha.

Boo was an owl, and she was sooo excited to flap her little wings! Except, I don’t think she is going to be excited about this picture come 15 years…Her dad=wanna be gangsta=wanna be cool=totally not.

And Sweet Pea was a freaked out Pumpkin…

Ok now onto the month of November, which came out of no where!!

Who is ready for Christmas?

Butternut Squash Creamy Pasta

Every year on Halloween I’ve always had chili and cornbread. It just seems like the right thing to do.

This year we will do the same, but I do know that there are some non-chili and cornbread believers out there. Aka my husband.

He’s so freakin’ weird.

So if you are still searching for comfort, but don’t want it to go straight to your hiney, then I would suggest this ultimate creamy and definitely comforting pasta. It’s similar to macaroni and cheese…minus the cheese.

And my friends, we can thank the star of the show for that ultra creamy and delicious pasta…

No not Boo…Although she might be a STAR…She did nothing to help with the pasta. Except inhale it.

The real star of the show is the one and only Butternut Squash.

And to show you how big butternut squash really is, I decided to show you the comparison between one and Sweet Pea.

Then Boo got jealous and wanted me to take a picture of her with her best friends…

I feel I am getting sidetracked here.

Ok so for starters, the recipe calls for butternut squash puree. You can buy canned squash, but fresh is and always taste better. So if you have the time, it’s definitely worth it! It’s actually pretty simple to cook and make puree. Here is how:

First you need to cut the squash is half, which if your weak sauce like me, it may seem practically impossible. But I promise it’s not.

First stab that butternut squash in the middle, till the knife goes all the way through.

Pull the knife down to cut half of the squash, then do the same on the other side.

Next scoop out the seeds.

Then take a baking sheet with raised sides and fill the pan with just a little bit of water, like 1/4 inch.

Place the squash face side down and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until done and soft.

Using a spoon, peel off the skin from the squash.

Then puree the squash in a food processor. If you have to, add a few TB of water to make it completely smooth.

I stored the extra puree in freezer bags to use when Sweet Pea starts eating.

Ok…now to that comforting dish all you chili haters have been waiting for…

Ingredients:

2 c. dry pasta

1 TB coconut oil

1 TB. whole wheat flour

1 c. coconut milk from can-full fat

1 c. butternut squash puree

3 TB. Nutritional yeast

1 tsp. ground mustard

1/4 tsp. tumeric

1 TB. oregano

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt/pepper

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to directions.  Heat a sauce pan on med-low heat over stove. Add oil. Next sprinkle in flour and whisk until combined. Add milk and continue whisking until all lumps are out. When it begins to simmer and thicken add in puree as well as spices. Whisk until combined and let simmer and thicken.

2. Once pasta is cooked, fold it into sauce. Serve immediately.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!!

And for all our friends on the East Coast, our prayers are with you!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time there was this Princess. She was of coarse the fairest of all and had control over all the house hold…um land, I mean land!

She danced, sang, and pranced around like most princesses do, but most of all she was known for her dramatic, and quite loud,  personality.

Often times you might walk into her living quarters to find jewelry, purses, and plastic heels strewed about the room. Then when you look up to see the Princess, you notice her standing against her table wearing an oversized tutu talking to a line up of her favorite princess dolls. She talks politely but demanding to them, and if one disappoints her she slaps them onto the floor…

Her mother, quite beautiful I might add, loved to watch this Princess grow on a daily basis but knew the more she grew the more independent she would become. Instead of request to be held and cuddled, it was more like, “Go away mom, I’m playing!”

 So, in her desperate efforts to hold onto her little princess just a little longer, before Teenage Charming comes along, her mother whisks her away into the kitchen to prepare a snack.

It’s where they connect every time and share stories, laugh, and learn.

And for that moment in time, nothing matters except the love in their hearts and the chocolate on their faces…

Oh…and the muffins in the oven. Those are pretty important too…

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

dash of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 c. homemade pumpkin puree, or puree from a can

1 egg-or 1 flax or chia egg

1 TB. vanilla

1/3 c. almond butter

1/3 c. melted coconut oil-cooled

1/4 c. packed finely shredded carrots, or 1 large carrot finely shredded

1/3 c. maple syrup

2 TB. non dairy milk

1/2 c. chocolate chips.

Directions:

1. Whisk dry ingredients together, (flour, salt, BP, BS, spices) in a medium bowl.

2. In a separate bowl whisk the rest of the ingredients together, besides chocolate chips. Add wet to dry and stir until incorporated. DO not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter into muffin liners in cupcake pan. Bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes.

As soon as the muffins are done and consumed, the little princess gives her mother a hug and a kiss and quickly runs off to her big girl duties.

The mother, grateful for the time they spent, realizes what a precious and polite angel that little princess really is and wants nothing more than to give her one last big hug before she goes about her duties.

Knowing this would be no easy task, the Princess’ mother bends down and says to the princess, “Can I tell you a secret?” In which the princess replies, “Sure!”

Her mother quietly whispers in her ear saying, “I Love You!”

At that moment, the Princess looked at her mom, rolled her eyes, and said…

“That’s no secret Mom!”

The end.

Black Bean Quinoa Cilantro Salad

Before Sweet Pea came along and Boo was really young, her and I would spend our days reading and learning about things that little minds need and love to learn about.

I taught her the colors, she learned her numbers, and she sang the ABC’s 845 times a day.

She was an extremely fast learner and would pick up on practically any song, dance, letter, and/or number that we would teach her. I have to admit that she made me one proud mama, and I loved having her perform and repeat the things she learned to others.

Recently though, Boo’s ability to ‘pick up and learn things’ at an extremely fast rate has somewhat made me wonder if we are destined for trouble in the future. And more often than not, I would much rather she not repeat the things she’s learned..from whatever sources they have come from.

If your wondering what types of things Boo has been saying or doing, I can give you a brief synopsis…

I also must add that I’ve been told to knock it off several times a day…

I’m at a loss for words…

And on days when I ask Baby Boo what she wants for lunch and her response is simply, “Nobody Cares…”

Well then I make what I want and don’t consider whether or not she’s going to like it.

How Rude.

Black Bean Quinoa Cilantro Salad

Makes 5 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. veggie broth

1/2 c. dry quinoa

1 c. cooked corn

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper diced

1 large tomato diced

2 avocados diced

(For the dressing)

1/4 c. onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tomatillo

1 bunch cilantro

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. agave

1 TB. olive oil

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. salt/dash of pepper

Directions:

1. In a pot add veggie broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook quinoa until fully cooked for about 20 minutes. For better directions on how to cook quinoa, click HERE.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing. Process dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until combined, like so:

3. Once the quinoa is done and cooled down, add it to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold in the dressing. Top with crushed tortilla chips! :) Or use tortilla chips to scoop it out! :)

I was completely confused as to where Boo was learning these not so nice phrases until I sat down with a big bowl of this for lunch and turned on my recorded episode of Housewives.

One of the ladies shouted, “What the He!!”, and Boo quickly responded…

Ya. You get the picture.

Anytime (Veggie) Cookies

So I’ve got this child…

She’s 100% sassy and tell’s it how it is, and right now it’s completely working against me.

Literally every single morning when we wake up this is the conversation Boo and I have:

Me: “Boo, what would you like for breakfast?”

Boo: “I want chocolate milk.”

Me: “How about we start off with something different. Would you like a smoothie instead? “

Boo: “NOOOOOO! I WANT CHOCOLATE MIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLKKK!!!” (Followed by throwing herself onto the floor, screaming…louder…and louder…)

Did you know I start off everyday with a headache?

Despite my best efforts in trying to hide all things sugary and sweet from my wee littles, I know that the subject…and the food…is unavoidable.

So where do we draw the line? Do we say yes to a little bit of sugar? Or do we just avoid it at all cost?

Here’s my take on it:

Life is about living and enjoying. I would be lying if I didn’t say that eating a rich piece of chocolatey cake on a special occasion didn’t make me the happiest girl in the world. I definitely wouldn’t ever want to deprive my kids from experiencing the joy that comes from eating delicious food.

But to me what makes ‘treats’ so enjoyable is that they aren’t something you eat everyday, that’s why they are special.

My goal is to teach my children to not fear food, or worse yet…stuff their face with cheetos and ding dongs at school when I’m not looking because they have been deprived at home.

Hopefully I can teach my kids the value of food, and how it’s best when it’s natural and wholesome. But that on occasion, a cookie isn’t going to hurt.

That cookie is meant to be enjoyed and savored…

And if you are a mom like me, with a child like Boo, then you know that asking Mom for a cookie can sometimes be a daily battle.

Which is why we have things like ANYTIME cookies…

Something a little sweet that we don’t have to feel too guilty about.

And something that can help avoid any tantrums at all cost…

Let’s be honest…THAT alone is completely worth it!

Anytime (Veggie) Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. spelt flour

1 1/2 c. oat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. garam masala

dash of salt

1 egg

1/2 c. coconut oil

3/4 c. coconut sugar/date sugar

1 c. finely grated zucchini, or 1 c. finely grated carrot, or a combo of the two

1 TB. vanilla

1/2 c. of either the following: blueberries, chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, etc.

Directions:

1. Whisk flours, oats, spices, baking soda, and salt together.

2. In a separate bowl whisk egg, oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla together. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Fold in 1/2c. desired add in. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet. Press down dough with fingers so it flattens a little bit.

3. Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.

My favorite way to eat these is to keep them in the freezer, then I reheat them, add some almond butter on top…and well…then I eat like 5 more.

It’s all about moderation.

Best.Example.For Boo.Ever!

Life as Mama Diva

I wish that you (the reader) could see me (the writer) at this point in time writing this post…

Would you believe me if I said I was wearing a leopard nursing bra w/ yoga pants? That’s right…No shirt.

Would it worry you that I’m also wearing my now crooked and non fitting glasses, (thanks to the one and only Boo who said, “I’m gonna break these!”) with extremely greasy hair thrown in a knotted bun.

I bet you wouldn’t believe that my hair isn’t greasy from lack of washing (although I’m sure it helps), but it’s because I decided to lather my hair in coconut oil to see what would happen when I washed it out…

Only to find we don’t have one drop of shampoo OR conditioner in sight besides Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash, and leaving the house it out of the question

Life this week has been…exciting…to say the least my friends.

From sick kids to TLC asking me if they can feature my extremely dirty house on their show Hoarders, I’ve had a fair share of breakdowns.

But with each little doubt that crosses my mind, wondering how on earth I’ll ever learn to balance every day life, I can’t help but smile at what I’m surrounded with…

I’m grateful to have the most understanding, easy going, and sweet new born one could ask for. She sleeps like its no bodies business, and even with a nasty cold she hasn’t been one to complain.

I’m grateful for Baby Boo who despite herself being under the weather, she’s been understanding to sharing mommy time with another little one. Numerous times she’s given me hugs and kisses telling me she loves me, which have truly kept me going.

I’m also grateful for Hubby.

I’m pretty sure it’s not sexy coming home to a wife who smells of breast milk and is covered in spit up. But he has lovingly been there for me through every crazy moment with a smile, helping hand, and many hugs…

It’s hard to doubt and hard to complain when I’m truly blessed…

:-)

Now will please someone mail me some shampoo…

Little Chickpea Food Wednesday: Snack Time- Banana Pudding

Guess who is getting their very first hair cut today?

That’s right!

I am happy to announce that she will no longer look like a homeless kid whose been running the streets begging for someone to buy her a donut.

Nor will she be confused with the child from the jungle book who hangs out with wild animals and walks barefoot in the dirt.

She will finally be able to see where she is going, and stop running into walls, tables, and chairs.

And more importantly I, her mother, will have to stop holding onto the fact that she’s no longer a baby and big headbands and bows can’t hide her baby rats nest hair forever…

Oddly enough I am actually excited for her newly styled hair…However, I am dreading the process.

Let’s just say one press of the wrong button and she will go all Diva on you screaming obscenities such as, ” You’re bein’ naughty, Go on timeout!” All the while pointing her cute little finger at you with a smirk on her face.

100% sass I tell ya…

Which is why in honor of Little Chickpea Food Wednesday:

I’ve decided to share a sweet treat/snack idea that can come in handy when your child needs some encouragement…

Or bribery…However you want to put it.

Banana Pudding

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 avocado-cold (set in fridge an hour or so before)

1 1/2 bananas-cold (set in fridge an hour or so before)

4 TB plain greek yogurt or 4 TB coconut fat from can

2 TB liquid sweetener of choice

1-2 TB non dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Blend everything in a blender until creamy. 

If you hear on the news of a young mom who was sent to timeout for eternity well then you can probably assume things didn’t go as planned.

And if that happens, you can also assume that the little child running down the street in nothing but a diaper, fake plastic heels, and a huge knot in the back of their hair is none other than…

Boo.

**If you like the idea of avocado pudding, check out the Chocolate Version HERE**

Oil Free Avocado Banana Bread

In the past two weeks, I’ve been involved in two weddings.

I also have a two week old and  two year old…

Between my lack of sleep at night and the two busy weekends we’ve had, I’ve become somewhat delirious.

I find myself breastfeeding and watching re-runs of Snookie and JWOW at 3 in the morning while eating yogurt pretzels and drinking almond milk.

I’ve reached an all time high my friends.

But despite the craziness, I couldn’t be happier to see this beautiful face in the wee hours of the morning!

I’m happy to say that this week I am veggin’ out at my moms while I catch up on some sleep, and she catches up on feeding Boo a cookies and ice cream.

I’ve also scheduled a hair appointment which I am so excited about!

I’m considering the short bleach blonde Mylie Cyrus look…What ya think?

(source)

(See what I mean…Delirious)

Either way, there is one thing that sort of keeps me sane at the moment and that’s eating carbs.

Carbs with chocolate chips that is…

Trust me. It works miracles.

Oil Free Avocado Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. spelt flour, WW Pastry flour, etc…

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

dash of salt

1 egg

1/3 generous cup mashed avocado (1 medium avo)

1 generous cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas)

1/3 c. peanut butter/other nut butter

1/3 c. agave, maple syrup, or honey

1 TB. vanilla

1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. (Flour, B.P., B.S., Salt, spices)

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well combined. Mix wet and dry until incorporated, then fold in chocolate chips.

3. Bake in a preheated oven in a bread pan at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Hopefully this bread can work its magic and hold Boo over for at least an hour so she can stop asking Grandma for cookies…

That is unless I finish off the loaf early this morning. It might take a miracle for that…

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

I’m going to take a break from my obsessive whining about Baby #2 not here yet, and focus on one of my most precious chickpeas.

Yesterday Baby Boo officially turned TWO, and she technically isn’t a baby anymore.

(Although I have no problem wrapping her up in a blanket and cuddling her in my arms…)

It’s hard to believe that two years came and went so fast, and now I am the mama of a sassy and sweet toddler. One that has no problem telling me no, slapping me in public, wearing tutu’s 24/7, playing with mama’s makeup, singing Justin Bieber and pointing out his picture wherever it is…

Yes my friends, she is no longer my little baby.

She now demands chocolate milk with every meal and is easily the boss in our tiny little family.

(I’m this close to teaching her how to ask Daddy for money…)

Unfortunately for the hubby’s sake, she’s 100% Diva and takes a lot after  her mama. Everything is 10 times more dramatic than it should be and she can cry at the drop of a penny.On top of everything else, she is addicted to sweets.

I will take the blame for that because half the time I’ve got my face shoved into some sort of chocolate particle…And if you open my pantry, i’ve got enough dark chocolate bars to feed Canada.

But I’m not complaining one bit. I look forward to Mommy-Daughter dates when we can spend daddy’s money and check out different sweet treats around the city. (Although…Technically we do that now.)

Which is why I knew that on Boo’s birthday she wouldn’t consider a special ‘treat’ a basket full of fries, but more like a big bowl of ice cream. Of coarse alongside of a day spent full of using daddy’s money!

That’s what birthday’s are all about!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

Ingredients:

(For the Ice Cream)

5-6 frozen bananas processed and blended into ‘ice cream’ w/ 1 tsp. vanilla

OR

1 pint vanilla non dairy ice cream (we prefer coconut)

(For the cookie mixutre)

1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour/spelt flour/GF flour/vanilla protein powder for a protein version

1/2 oats

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

dash of salt

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. 100% maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. dark chocolate chopped/chocolate chips

Directions:

1. To make the cookies, beat nut butter, vanilla, and syrup together until combined with a mixer. Add flour, oats, spices until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. The mixture will be a little crumbly:

2. In the mixer bowl add your ice cream:

3. Mix together until cookies are incorporated throughout ice cream.

4. Eat right then, or place in freezer safe storage and save for later!

This dessert is almost as sweet as my precious two year old!

Unless you take into consideration that she’s 100% diva like her mama…

And in that case, it’s not always a sweet bowl of ice cream! :-)

I love you Baby Boo! You keep me on my toes, make me smile and laugh every day, and I’ve never loved anything so much as much as I Love You!

I’ll Love you Forever Boo!

XOXOXO-

Mommy

Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday!!

In a few weeks my sweet baby girl turns TWO and I cannot believe it! She has grown up faster than I can imagine, and has turned into one sweet and sassy little princess!

We figured it was best to celebrate her birthday early, since we don’t know when Baby #2 will decide to show up, and oddly enough, my two sweet chickpeas may end up sharing the same birthday!! That being said, we wanted to make this birthday extra special, and all about Boo. That means tons of sweets, lots of Minnie Mouse, a bounce house, friends, family, and…did I mention tons of sweets? :-)

Take a look at the amazing fun filled day we had in celebrating out precious little girl!

(Food not pictured: Build you own sandwich bar, pasta salad, chips, hummus, and dip.)

Everything was practically hand made at this party, and took WEEKS to prepare for! (This includes the Pinata, which took the LONGEST time of all! Next time…I’m buying one lol!) I spent a lot of nap time hours hot glueing, taping, and cutting to make everything polka dot/Minnie Mouse approved! :)

It was such an amazing experience, and I loved spoiling and showering my little angel with lots of love! Even though by the end of it she was a little tired and cranky, it was such a fun filled day!

(Binky in mouth+tired eyes=Boo needs a nap)

Happy Birthday Baby Boo!! Thank you for making the past two years of my life the best I’ve ever experienced! You are truly a blessing, and keep me smiling every single day! I LOVE you!