Breakfast sausage

In pregnancy, getting enough protein is paramount.  To get the necessary amount each day, it is good to incorporate protein sources into each meal and snack, beginning with breakfast.  There are many good sources of protein among common breakfast foods, such as yogurt and eggs.  Sometimes, however, we get stuck in a rut after having the same food again and again every day for breakfast.  It can be nice to find new recipes and new foods to enjoy during pregnancy.  This one is of the meat variety…and it is tasty and easy to make.  You can enjoy with eggs, frittata, veggies, fruit, topped with salsa, or all by themselves!

Ingredients:

breakfast sausage

1 1/2 pounds of lean organic ground turkey or chicken or pork

1-2 T of minced fresh sage

1 T of minced fresh rosemary

1 t of fresh cracked black pepper

1 1/2 t of sea salt

1 T of honey

1 T of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil.  Use your hands or a spoon/fork to mix thoroughly.

2.  Divide the mix into about 8 portions and make into patties that are a little over 2 inches in diameter.

3.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low heat and cook the patties, turning once and gently pressing the second side into the pan.  Each side will take about 5 to 8 minutes and will turn golden brown when done.

4.  Transfer the cooked patties to a paper towel lined plate and serve.  You may also wish to save some for future meals or snacks!

Enjoy!

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Cottage Pie Recipe (great freezer meal!)

shepherdspieWith winter really testing our muster (and patience) this cold February, we thought a hearty wholesome meal would help bring out our collective Minnesota heartiness.  This Cottage Pie, sometimes called Shepherds’ pie, is full of healthy vegetables and meat, so it’s teeming with protein, vitamins and minerals.

This recipe would also make a great freezer meal for the postpartum period– feel free to double or triple the recipe!  We have had luck storing this meal in mason jars, to later thaw and add to a baking dish.  You may choose to make the mashed “potato” topping when you are ready to heat and serve, or make ahead and just store it separately.

Vegetarians, perhaps a meat substitute would work great in this recipe!  Some ground tempeh might be really nice!

Ingredients:

3 large heads of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped coarse

4 T of olive oil

2 medium sweet yellow onions (approximately 2 cups)

4 medium carrots, sliced or diced (2 cups)

4 celery stalks, diced or sliced (about 1 cup)

1 pound of organic grass-fed ground beef (can substitute tempeh or other ground meat)

1 cup of chicken stock/broth

1 t black pepper

1/2 t of sea salt

Directions:

For the mashed potato “topping”:

1.  Steam the cauliflower until tender

2.  In a food processor, blend the cauliflower with 2 T of olive oil (you can also add sour cream, chives, butter, salt, or whatever you’d make mashed potatoes with)

3.  Set aside

For the inside goodness:

1.  Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions for 8-10 minutes.

2.  Add the carrots and celery and saute for another 10 minutes.

3.  Add ground beef and cook for 5-7 minutes until browned.

(you can also cook these one at a time, especially if doubling the recipe, and set cooked ingredients into a big bowl)

4.  Add broth to the mixture and cook down until half of the liquid evaporates (about 7-8 minutes).

5.  Stir in pepper and salt.

Put it all together:

1.  Preheat oven to 350

2.  In a large glass baking dish (can use 8×8 or 9×13), add the meat and veggie mix.

3.   Top with the mashed “potato” mix.

4.  Bake for 40-60 minutes (longer if from frozen)

5.  Serve and enjoy!

Green Goddess smoothie

smoothieAll this cold weather has us thinking about smoothies…ironically enough!  While many of us benefit from favoring warm, comforting foods in colder months, a smoothie this packed with goodness is worth the possible brain freeze.  It it best to consume colder foods like these in the midday if possible, though you can enjoy them anytime.

This smoothie is packed with crucial nutrients and protein from superfood all-stars like kale, chia, flaxseed, and spirulina.  Really, everything in this smoothie is great for your body and your baby.  Not only is this great for pregnancy, but would also make for a fabulous early labor snack to give you lots of fuel and nutrients for the journey ahead.  The bonus is that this smoothie is beautiful and gives a splash of color to these otherwise white winter days!  Enjoy mamas.

In a blender or with an immersion blender, blend and enjoy:

– 1 ripe banana

– 1 cup frozen organic blueberries

– 1 cup organic spinach

– 1 cup organic kale

– 1/3 of a cup of coconut water (can substitute almond milk or plain water), add more liquid if you like your smoothies drinkable rather than spoonable

– 1 T ground flax seeds

– 1 T chia seeds

– 1 t hemp protein powder (optional)

– 1 t spirulina

– 2 medjool dates (optional– adds sweetness)

Butternut Squash, Quinoa, Spinach, Walnut Fall Salad

kale-quinoa-016With fall beginning to show its splendor, we naturally begin to seek out warmth and comfort foods.  This vegetarian/vegan recipe is great for pregnant mamas due to its high protein and nutrient content.  This is a perfect meal or side dish for lunch or dinner (heck, or even breakfast!)

  • Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial to fetal brain development, and contain protein.
  • Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and folic acid.
  • Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and manganese (essential for the production of white and red blood cell).
  • Butternut squash contains protein, Vitamins A, C, E and B6, and folate, as well as potassium.

Each serving of this dish has 14 grams of protein, 7 mg of iron, 239 mg of calcium, and 9 grams of fiber.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin Italian olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups baby spinach or kale
  • 2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5 minutes).
  2. Add the broth, squash, quinoa and raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash and quinoa are tender (15 to 20 minutes).
  3. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt (2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with walnuts.  Serve and enjoy!