My Favorite Easy-Peasy Recipes

I don’t like cooking. I do like baking, but rarely have time for it anymore. And when I do have time, I find it difficult to forget all the clean up involved afterward.

So, I’ve started using a crock pot for dinners. And I’ve started making no-bake cookies. Because I’m lazy as can be.

If you have a crock-pot and are looking for a SUPER easy and healthy recipe, try out this Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken from Skinny Taste. There is no pre-cooking involved and most of the ingredients are canned or frozen. SO EASY and low calorie! I make the Cilantro Lime Rice to go with it, partly to use up the cilantro I bought, but mostly because it’s freaking delicious!

The no-bake cookies I’ve started making are actually called No Bake Energy Bites. But that sounds less fun, right? I use the Give Me Some Oven recipe but have adapted it for my tastes – I add about 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter (which is essentially the same thing as Biscoff Cookie Butter), some rice crispies, and I skip the vanilla. I love that there is no added sugar in these ‘cookies’ and they have grains and protein. It’s a snack that I don’t feel guilty about eating!

There ya go. Have fun!

Do you have any easy, go-to recipes?

Greek Gods of Yogurt

dannon_oikos.jpg

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls on behalf of Dannon. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program but my opinions are my own.

For more information and recipe ideas, visit www.oikosyogurt.com or www.Facebook.com/oikos. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

By the time Jack’s dad and I split in 2008, I was underweight due to stress, depression, and a certain 2 year old stealing half my food (much tastier when it’s on Mama’s plate!). Not only that, but I was still breastfeeding Jack, which had the weight melting off of me. I didn’t have time or energy to keep up with my nutritional needs and before I knew it I was wearing size 0 pants for the first time in my life (LIFE, PEOPLE!). I was losing my curves and absolutely not happy about it.

David and I started dating in the fall that year and one of our favorite things to do together was eat. Just about every time we got together, we went out to dinner or he cooked for me with LOADS of butter or cream. Between that and eating lunch together daily, plus weaning Jack at 2 1/2 years old, I gained 30 lbs…and was steadily climbing. I am a small person and most would say PFFT, but none of my clothes fit me anymore and my BMI tipped to overweight.  30 lbs on a small frame like mine is a lot.

That was when I joined Weight Watchers. I wanted to get to a healthy weight somewhere between under- and over-weight, and I did it in a decent amount of time. I took a break from it for awhile when life got busy, but I’m back at it (albeit only via the online tool). With WW I can pretty much eat the foods I like, but I need to watch portions. Rather than eating cupcakes every day (which, yes, I absolutely was doing for a while – hey, they are half off between 2-3pm at work!) I now only indulge a few times a month. (I suppose I could find a diet cupcake but that is just BUNK.  Or, if I really wanted a cupcake that badly, I could, like, do exercise, but it’s not THAT important to me.)

So cream and butter aren’t in my diet much anymore except in small portions and in yogurt form. I had a thing for maple yogurt with cream on the top but that had to go.  I turned to Greek-style yogurt, which was slightly better points-wise, but had a hard time finding a nonfat type that I actually liked (NF Greek yogurt tends to be a bit sour, in my opinion). I then got the opportunity to try this nonfat Oikos Greek yogurt and I marched down to my grocery store to grab some.

Lucky for me, the Oikos yogurts were on sale 4 for $5. Woot! I was bummed they didn’t have honey flavor (my fave Greek yogurt variety), but I got peach, blueberry, raspberry, and cherry (the fruit on the bottom type). I promptly went home and ate the raspberry one and it was absolutely frickin’ delicious. It wasn’t sour like the other NF Greek yogurts I’ve tried, thank goodness! Also unlike other nonfat yogurts, the yogurt wasn’t thin and runny. I was a happy camper.

I popped into the WW tool online, plugged in the nutrition facts and found out that the Oikos yogurt is the same number of points as the nonfat stuff I’d been eating. SCORE!  (If you’re on WW, typical Greek yogurt is about 7 points and Oikos is 3 – even some of the FF yogurts out there are 4!)  So, uh, NO DUH I’d recommend it. Healthy, yummy snack for the win!

Two important pieces of info you will surely want to know:

  1. Dannon® Oikos® Plain and Fruit on the Bottom contains 0% fat, while the Dannon® Oikos® traditional blended varieties contains about 3% fat. Both are an excellent source of protein, twice that of most regular lowfat yogurts.
  2. Dannon® Oikos® 0% varieties contain active yogurt cultures and range from 80 calories (Plain) to 130 calories (Fruit on the Bottom) per 5.3 oz. cup.

Oh and another tidbit that I found interesting – Oikos is actually owned by Stonyfield Farms, makers of the little yogurts (one of the few that can be found in organic) I prefer to give my kid.  If it’s related to organic, that’s almost like it IS organic, right?  (Did you know if you have a carrot cupcake, it totally counts toward your veggies for the day?  😉  You’re welcome.)

By the way, for you breastfeeding moms out there, yogurt contains probiotics, which ward off thrush (if you haven’t gotten it, that is).

I have partnered with Dannon to help promote the Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Series. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product; however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Enhanced by Zemanta

He gets it from me.

Jack is a good eater.  I worried about this because his dad is definitely not a good eater (fruits and vegetables aren’t part of his diet at all).  I needn’t have worried, though!  I think between daycare and a few others in his life who will sit down and eat yummy foods with him, he has a fairly adventurous palate.

Jacks food repertoire includes:

  • soy beans
  • Baby Bel cheese rounds
  • carrots
  • little trees (aka broccoli) – steamed
  • salami
  • yogurt (right now he is on a Gogurt kick)
  • pasta
  • baked chicken strips
  • pretzels with peanut butter
  • PB&J sandwiches
  • tea
  • apples
  • bananas
  • rice & beans
  • cucumbers
  • bell pepper
  • peanuts, almonds
  • fruit & grain bars
  • peas
  • corn
  • tofu
  • bread & goat cheese
  • clementines
  • oatmeal
  • scrambled eggs
  • waffles, french toast

He likes his share of junk, too, especially chocolate, but he doesn’t get a lot of it.  Recently he discovered “real chocolate milk” (as opposed to “chocolate milk” which is what we called his milk for a long time) and has been asking me to make his milk brown.  We limit this to once or twice a week.  His favorite cookies seem to be David’s snickerdoodles (I can’t blame him – those things are gooood!).

It’s funny to me to look at this list now because even at a year it would take him a whole week to finish off a jar of baby food.  He was so not into solids for a long, long time.  Now he’s all about them and doesn’t even seem to remember nursing.  I guess he’s a fan of whatever he is doing at the moment.

Food Update

Since my post last week after his pediatric appointment, Jack has decided that food is the best thing in the world.  Suddenly he is ravenous.  He’ll finish a whole box of raisins in a sitting, eat the corners off all the slices of pizza, and finished off a package of cherry tomatoes in a mere 3 days.  Can we say growth spurt?

He still isn’t drinking much during the day but luckily many of the foods we give him keep him hydrated and he still nurses like a champ when we’re together.  I have no idea what to do to encourage him to drink during the day, as no vessel seems to tempt him.

I like the fact that Jack can now tell us when he’s hungry.  Last night he gestured upward with his hand toward a box of Cheerios and opened and closed his fist while he chanted, “Moremoremore…”  It’s adorable.

Gosh, sometimes it seems these kids like to freak out their parents on purpose.

Back to Normal

Our household is recovered.  Yay!!!  Jack seemed like he would never get well and then BAM!  He’s totally back to normal.

I’m stressing about his food intake, though.  Before he got sick he was hardly drinking any expressed breastmilk during the day, and only sips water.  Now he’s cut out milk completely.  Joe has tried sippies, straws, bottles and none of them seem to persuade him.  That may be okay since I nurse at least 3-4 times each day but he is not eating enough solid foods, either.  The best I can tell, he is getting maybe 400 calories a day from solids.  In total he needs about 1300 calories a day.  I estimate he gets about 400 from me but it’s (obviously) hard to say.  He used to be in the 85 percentiles for height and weight, but has dropped down to about the 30th.

We are visiting his pediatrician next week for his 18 month check up but I’m nervous because this is the first time I don’t feel confident about Jack’s intake.  I don’t have much trust for doctors and this one has never seen us before.  There isn’t anything we could be doing differently, though, so I know I shouldn’t worry so much.  Perhaps it is a phase, or maybe it will get better when he is back at daycare with a real schedule and other kids around encouraging him to do what they are doing.

Other than that, we’re spending our time talking about colors a lot.  With Jack’s recent discovery of crayons, he is fairly obsessed.  It’s not enough, though, to color by himself.  No, he wants to watch US color.  We’ve been pointing out the names of colors (last night we had a lesson about the colors of his diapers) and he’s been adding to his vocabulary.  So far his favorite is definitely yellow.

We’ve also been reading counting books and Jack pretends to count constantly.  It’s pretty damned cute when he randomly says, “two…twee…fah…”  I *think* he is starting to figure out the correct order but it’s hard to say.  Last night I showed him  how to hold  up the number of fingers but that is going to take a ton of practice.

It’s fascinating to me to see how kids learn.  I truly am amazed at how human beings function.  As I was sitting in a meeting at work today, I looked at the presenter and pictured him as a child learning the basics of math.  It was then that it hit me that someday Jack is going to grow up and be an expert on something.  It’s going to be so weird!