Quick Mama Lunch: Pear Arugula Lunch Pizza

Recently I’ve found myself lacking the energy that most 24 year olds should have.

I started out strong staying up late every night facebookin’ it while watching trash TV…But now, 5 o’clock rolls around and all I want is a hot bath, a foot rub with some bengay, and an oversized fluffy robe  with mismatched fuzzy socks.

Unfortunately I feel the same way whether it’s 5 o’clock at night or 10 in the morning.

When meal time rolls around I use up what energy I have to make the food for others, then lay myself flat on the floor with my mouth wide open hoping Boo drops some crumbs in my directions.

Yum.Lunch.

Ok…In all honesty when it comes to the food I eat for lunch it’s 78% leftovers from last nights dinner. But when leftovers aren’t available, I look for something that’s fast and has all the right components to keep me energized, full, and focused.

I sound like a breakfast cereal commercial.

Pear Arugula Lunch ‘Pizza’

*Although this isn’t technically a pizza, it resembles one in a way :)*

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat tortilla, flat bread, naan, etc.

Melted Coconut Oil

S/P plus seasonings of choice

handful of arugula

1 pear

1/4 c. walnuts

1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese

drizzle of balsamic oil

Directions:

1. Take your tortilla and brush it with melted coconut oil. Then sprinkle it with salt and pepper and desired spices. (I used a lot of dried herbs, paprika, and garlic) Put on a baking sheet and turn oven to low broil. Broil for a couple minutes until tortilla becomes golden and crispy.

2. Top with arugula, sliced pears, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and then drizzle with balsamic oil.

Super fast and incredibly yummy!

Plus as a bonus you don’t have to eat crumbs that were dropped to the floor!

Win Win!

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!

Easiest Pico De Gallo Salsa…Ever

Salsa is like one of my favorite foods.

It has tomatoes, which is the main ingredient in Ketchup, and like, you can put that crap on anything.

Then there is cilantro, which if you ask me, somebody should make a cilantro scented candle. I’d buy it.

Salsa is just so versatile, and it can dress up any dish that is lacking that va va voom factor. For example, if you had a really hard day and you changed one too many dirty diapers and spit up messes, therefore you are making cereal for dinner…Well, it sure makes your husband happier when you tell him there is fresh pico salsa in the fridge.

Just make sure you have chips.

Because just cereal and just pico de gallo salsa really aren’t the greatest together. That is unless it was cereal and ketchup.

That DEFINITELY goes.

Pico De Gallo Salsa

*This is the easiest salsa EVER. It takes all of about 5 minutes to make and it’s super fresh! It is best served that day, otherwise it won’t do well after 24 hours. It begins to taste funky and your fridge will start to smell like onions :)*

Ingredients:

2 large round firm tomatoes, not from the vine. *Preferably organic*

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 small onion

1 jalepeno

1 lime (zest and juice)

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Dice your tomatoes, onion, and jalepeno into small chunks. (Remove seeds from pepper if you don’t want it spicy.) Chop up your cilantro into small pieces, then add the ingredients into a bowl. Add zest and juice of 1 lime, sprinkle of salt and pepper then toss everything until combined. Add more S/P for desired taste.

 Here is a little tip I might add with this salsa…

Pico De Gallo=Sexiest Breath Ever!

Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve never been so happy to welcome this cold and overcast weather that San Diego has been having recently! Normally, I would much rather embrace the sunshine…But recently the extremely hot sunshine melts that makeup right off my face within 5 minutes of being outside. Me+no makeup=scary monster.

Even though cold weather tends to make me want to spend my day in my bed, us girls decided a day out shopping and pumpkin picking was way more fun. So we grabbed my mom to come with us and out we went. First we did some damage at Target, and then we headed to Nordstoms for lunch.

I think I’ve converted both my children to Nordstrom’s lovers…Especially Sweet Pea.

Next we headed to the pumpkin patch where Boo rode her VERY FIRST pony. I was nervous that halfway through the ride she would be screaming to get off, but alas she proved me wrong. She smiled the ENTIRE time, and then asked me if we could take the pony home.

I told her no and blamed her Daddy…

After ponies and baby goat petting we headed to get our pumpkins. We contemplated getting a pumpkin that Boo could fit in herself once it was carved, but then I thought about what the hubby would say…Probably something along the lines of, “YOU picked that pumpkin…Therefore YOU will carve it. But, I mean if you need help eating those pumpkin seeds by all means..I’M your guy!”

As soon as we got home I knew that I had to cook something that was warm and filling for dinner, since us girls had done lots of walking and a minor amount of damage to our wallets.

Minor…Major..Same thing.

*This soup was put together in all of about 10 minutes since I had a lot of leftover prepared food just sitting in my fridge. The ingredients are definitely versatile, and if you want a vegan option, omit the chicken and double/triple the beans! If you have a toddler that is anti soup, just do what I did and pick out all the ingredients and put them on her plate sans the broth!*

Ingredients:

1-2 TB. coconut oil

1/2 medium onion diced

1 TB chopped garlic

1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh cooked corn

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1-2 c. cooked quinoa

2 c. cooked organic chicken chopped-seasoned with salt and pepper

32 oz. organic chicken broth

2 tsp. cumin

1 TB dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/4 tsp. celery seed (opt.)

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro, lime, avocado, and crushed tortilla chips for garnish

Directions:

1. In a large pot heat coconut oil until fully melted. Add in onions and saute for a few minutes until they become clear and a little brown. Add in garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Throw in corn, tomatoes, beans, quinoa, chicken. Toss ingredients together then stir in chicken broth. Add spices in and adjust to liking. Stir and let sit on stove on LOW heat until ready to eat. I made this about 45 minutes until dinner, so I let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove on low and let the flavors come together. Top with desired toppings. (Fresh squeezed lime juice is a favorite!)

Thank goodness for leftovers! Tomorrow looks like it’s going to be another gloomy day, and I think we will just spend this one in bed watching Cinderella!

(Rather than going broke at Target….)

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.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree + Video Tutorial

So here’s the deal.

Pumpkin season is like a food bloggers Christmas…Am I right?

We load up on canned pumpkin, bake muffins, pies, cookies, pasta dishes etc.

We freakin’ love it.

Then the other day at Costco when I was considering buying the 90 oz. of canned pumpkin puree they were selling, I realized that the pumpkin in the can obviously wasn’t fresh. And who knows how long it had been sitting in those cans.

More importantly I was planning on loading up on the puree for baby food in the future, but then I realized that was definitely not ok…

Canned pumpkin puree is great … But fresh pumpkin puree that’s in season…

It’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s practically a different color than the canned puree. That right there should say something.

So for those of you interested in how to make your own puree, whether your going to cook with it or feed it to your baby, here is a simple how to.

And if the pictures aren’t enough, I put together an incredibly embarrassing video tutorial for you to see.

Merry Christmas.

First your going to start with a small pumpkin. I believe they are called sugar pumpkins, but I really don’t know. Neither did the guy  working in the produce section…So it’s all good.

Just make sure they aren’t the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

After you have washed the pumpkins, cut the stems off the pumpkins.

My knife is about as sharp as a butter knife, so this counted as an arm workout for me.

Then cut the pumpkins in half.

Next your going to scoop out the seeds, or as Baby Boo calls it, the yucky stuff…

Save the seeds people…save the seeds.

Roast them, and then coat them in chocolate. Then buy me a diamond ring because after that you will love me forever.

Next preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkins face down, or face up, on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45 min to an hour…or until the pumpkins are soft and you can poke them with a fork.

They will brown and the skins will shrivel a little when they are done!

Using a spoon or your hands, peel off the skins.

Discard the skins and add the rest of the pumpkin into a blender or food processor and process until creamy.

Note #1: Some pumpkins are more dry then others. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. Just add a few TB of water until you reach the desired consistency!

Note #2: Some pumpkins are more mushy than others and when blended into a puree it might seem TOO watery. Don’t worry, this is normal too! :) Just strain puree through a cheesecloth!

Store in the fridge for about a week, or store in the freezer for 6 to 8 months!! Just add about 1 c. of the puree to a plastic bag and flatten it out and lay it flat in the freezer!

Perfect for baby food!

Check out the wacky video to go along with it:

And don’t you worry my little pumpkins, I’ve got pumpkin recipes coming up to go along with this puree!

But in case you can’t wait, here is a favorite one from last year!

Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Be back soon for more pumpkin madness!

Exercising w/ Kids and Post Workout Food

If there is one thing I have noticed with RESTARTing exercise, is that it isn’t coming easy.

I find myself running around all day playing mommy and wifey, and by the time the end of the day is near all I want to do is cuddle with my family and relax for the rest of the night. The last thing I do is want to exercise…

Finding that exercise groove again is hard, but I am not putting the pressure on myself to do it all because I know that will cause me to  give up. Because of this, I am focusing on the things that I know will make it easier for me to exercise:

Knowing these things helps me to understand where and how I am comfortable with fitting in exercise into my daily schedule.

What’s on your list of things that you know will make exercise easier?

One of the most important things for me is making sure my little chickpeas are with me and happy.

My goal is to keep things balanced, so you won’t see me going to the gym, then taking the kids on a run, then coming home and doing a workout video.

It’s just not me.

I’ve got tea parties and dress up appointments with my little gals scheduled everyday. :)

Sometimes you can’t always throw the kids in the stroller and go on a long run.

OR you little girl is missing her toy ice cream cone and if it’s not found she’s going to scream…a lot..

THEN your littlest chickpea can’t sit in a car seat in the stroller because it’s 107 degrees outside.

And lastly, your husband is working a 12 hour day so there is no ‘break’ for you to break a sweat on your own and relax…

What’s a Diva to do?!?

Playing with your kids is a great way to get that heart rate up as well as get your kids moving!

More importantly it brings your family together as you laugh, dance, and act silly. :)

And after a good solid play time with the kids, a post workout snack/meal is a necessity!

-Or-

-Or-

-Or-

Apples/Pears N’ Nut/Seed Butter

Veggies, Crackers, and Hummus

Etc.

Printable for Week 2: Restart Exercise Program

Do you exercise with your kids?

Send me your pics, I would love to see them!

Post them to my Facebook page!

Or tweet me @TheDiVa_DiSh

Have a Great Monday!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Pie

Let’s talk about dessert.

We’ve all been there.

8:30 at night, kids are asleep, husband is knee deep in his fantasy football draft, and you’ve plopped yourself down on the couch to watch some good ol’ trash tv.

Then it hits you…A craving like no other. First you start to itch, and then your right eye starts twitching.

Then before you know it  your legs begin to spasm and that craving for something sweet has sent you to loose all control.

It’s getting dangerous.

You try and hold yourself back from opening that package of M&M’s that somehow mysteriously ended up in your pantry, but each time you slap yourself in the face and say, “NO Dangit!,” a giant sized red M&M grabs you in the face and says…

“EAT ME!”

This is serious.

So then you do the worst thing possible because the stress is too much to handle.

You put on your stretchy pants and head to the kitchen to do some damage.

First the M&M’s, and then the Ding Dongs.

Oh Crap! Hubby bought Peanut Butter Oreos…Get in MA’ Belly!

An hour later your husband finds you in the fetal position lying on the kitchen floor cradling a package of Tums and a bottle of chocolate syrup.

He picks you up, wipes you off, pries the chocolate sauce from your hands, and puts you to bed.

As he is tucking you in, you can’t help but wish that the previous hour was all a dream, and drinking a carton of ice cream never happened…

But it did…Oh yes it did.

Wait…You mean that’s never happened to you.

Uh, ya me neither…

Dessert cravings can be a dangerous thing…OBVIOUSLY.

The stress of trying to beat those cravings and choose a healthier option can send you into full blown panic mode.

Which is why it’s almost a necessity to have a pie on hand.

One that’s naturally sweetened, packed with protein, boost of omegas, and well one that screams…

EAT  ME!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Pie

Ingredients: (For the ice cream)

3 bananas

1 avocado

1/2 c. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter for nut free version -make sure no sugar added, just nuts for ingredients

1/3 c. cocoa powder

1/8 c. coconut oil

1 TB. vanilla

(For the Crust)

2 1/2 c. salted pretzels

20 small/medium sized dates-pits removed

1/2 c. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter for nut free version-make sure no sugar added, just nuts for ingredients

2 tsp. vanilla

(For the topping)

1/2 c. pretzels finely crushed into crumbs-the finer the better

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust first: In a food processor, process pretzels and dates first until fine crumbs appear. Add nut butter and vanilla until combined. Mixture will be crumbly..that’s ok! Press crust into spring form pan. (PRESS HARD)

2. Prepare the filling: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour on top of crust and spread out. Top with the 1/2.c finely grated pretzels. (The finer the better!)

3. Place covered in freezer for a couple hours until hardened. If it’s in freezer for a longer time, let thaw for a 3-4 minutes before cutting and serving.

Now..No need to be all lady like/gentleman-ish when eating this pie.

By all means, go crazy and shove this bad boy straight into your mouth…No hesitation!

SO next time that sweet tooth craving comes a creepin’, just slap your self on the hiney and remember there’s a nice delicious healthy pie waiting for you in the freezer!

Your welcome…

:)

Little Chickpea Food Wednesday: Strawberry Basil Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Today I have not sat.

Not on the couch, nor the floor, or the rocking chair, and definitely not in my bed.

(And if you are wondering if I’ve gone to the bathroom, that’s I think a no…)

I ate my meals standing up while I did the dishes, swept the floor, and fed a baby.

And I’m pretty sure the above sentences are run-on sentences.

Even my grammar doesn’t know when to slow down.

One thing I have noticed since Sweet Pea was born is that there is more things to accomplish than ever, and I don’t have enough hours in the day to do it. There is always a mess to clean, a dish to put away, and a mouth to feed.

But one thing I’m realizing is come 8:00 at night when the littles are sleeping, and my house is still not as clean as I want it to be….

Is that I’ve spent more time washing dishes, than reading books to Boo.

I’ve put toys away again and again, instead of using them to play and interact with Sweet Pea.

I suck.

Ok, that’s pretty harsh…But that’s how I’ve been feeling.

Sometimes I feel like I need to do it all. When in reality, I don’t…

All I really need to do is be with my kids.

They don’t care if the toys are everywhere, in fact they would probably prefer they were.

They aren’t upset if there are dishes in the dishwasher, they just want me to sit and play tea party/picnic with them.

And come dinner, they don’t want me to hand them the I-Pad so they can be entertained while I cook…

They want to sit on the counter and help, taste each food item, and laugh with Mama.

And in that moment, your child has not only made you proud by trying celery and cashews, but you’ve done something with dinner time that is very special.

Food is meant to bring people together, and cooking with your kids does exactly that!

Strawberry Basil Chickpea (or Chicken) Salad

Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 2 c. shredded cooked chicken OR 1 can chickpeas and 1 c. shredded cooked chicken

1 c. diced strawberries

1/2 c. grapes diced

1/3 c. diced cashews

1-2 stalks celery diced

1/4 c. finely chopped basil

salt and pepper

Dressing:

2-3 strawberries

2 TB. plain hummus

1 TB. balsamic

1 TB. maple syrup

2 TB. mayonnaise (We make homemade) , veganaise, or greek yogurt

Directions:

1. If using chickpeas, pour them into a bowl and mash up with fork. Toss in the rest of the ingredients.

2. To make the dressing, mash the strawberries with a fork. (I used my hands to mash it really well too.) Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and fold into salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve in a sandwich, on top of a salad, etc..

To me…

A delicious dinner, a happy family, and a messy house is the BEST way to end any day!

********************************************************

This has been part of a series of post called Little Chickpea Food Wednesday!

Check out other Little Chickpea Food Post:

Banana Pudding

Deconstructed Omelette 

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!