Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thom Kha Gai Thai Soup

So lately I have been wanting to try my hand at Thai cuisine. My first foray into the balance and intensity of flavours I attempted a green curry that turned out pretty mediocre in my opinion. It didn't suck but it wasn't great either.

From what I'd heard, my favorite soup of ALL TIME was supposed to be fairly easy to prepare...providing you knew what it needed to taste like and what flavours are needed to really make this simple dish really explode your taste buds in a good way.

So naturally, I assembled the ingredients I needed and tested out my first run on some gracious and unsuspecting friends.

The result was a very authentic and AMAZING Thai soup that was bursting with the balance of flavours I have come to crave! (plus my guests went back for seconds so I say I did pretty darn good.)

So because this recipe turned out so amazingly-I thought I'd share! (I went off of several basic Thai soup ideas and built and tweaked from there!)

* you can easily cut this recipe in half (though I don't know why you would as it reheats very well...and you'll want to live off of it for a couple of days ;p)
**find a decent Asian store for some of these ingredients. They also freeze well! Please note that you can't achieve the right flavour without the necessary ingredients-but rest assured they are inexpensive ingredients and you'll be making it A LOT.
***the KEY to achieving the perfect flavour for this soup is the fine balance of sweet, salt, spice, and sour.

(Thai coconut chicken soup)

-2 cartons of chicken broth (like the Pacific Foods brand) or about 3 mason jars of homemade bone broth.
-2 cans of coconut milk
-about a 1/3 c. Fresh lime juice or lime juice from concentrate
-1 Tbsp. of chili paste, or less if you like your soup more mild. (I like red chili sauce from Trader Joe's-it's like Siracha sauce)
-2 stalks of lemongrass or galangal root, cut into 2 inch pieces and separated. Discard the darker green part.
-about 6 peeled and sliced pieces of fresh ginger (gently scrape the edge of a spoon against the brown skin to easily remove it. Super easy!)
-about 12-14 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn.
-fresh cilantro (about a 1/4 c.)
-sea salt (around 1 tbsp.?) (or if you have some REALLY good fish sauce use this instead and start out with a tsp. and work your way up If necessary. I had crappy fish sauce so I used sea salt instead and the flavour was just as authentic!)
-organic sugar or honey (around 2 Tbsp.?)
-2 cartons of organic crimini or white mushrooms, halved.
-2 lbs. of chicken, cut into 1 inch chunks.

-Combine broth, coconut milk, ginger, lime leaves and lemongrass/galangal in a stock pot and bring to a boil.

-add lime juice, chicken, mushrooms, chili sauce, sugar and salt. Turn down temp to simmer. Simmer until chicken is opaque and tender. do a taste test of the broth after a few minutes-balance the flavours if needed by adjusting sugar, salt, and lime juice.

-discard the ginger, lemongrass and lime leaf and serve garnished with cilantro. (and fresh Thai basil if you so desire!)

Serves 6-8 (unless you're little piggies and then serves about 4;)
Takes about 45 minutes from start to finish (this includes prep time and cook time!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Paleo Icecream

Because you know you want it. You're welcome. And what's even more awesome-sauce about this?? You don't need an ice cream maker for this one! It's like the lazy chef's dream icecream. Go on and make it.

Chocolate Strawberry Paleo Icecream
original recipe by Kileah McIlvain
serves 1 person, or several people. I'll let you make that call.

2 cans coconut milk (if it's full-fat it will be creamier!)
2 or 3 tbsp. creamed coconut (optional-it just makes it creamier)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
3/4 c. raw cocoa/cacao powder (non-alkaline)
1/2 c. honey or maple syrup (more or less based on your preference)
1 c. strawberries (pureed) + 3 large strawberries, diced

1. blend coconut milk, vanilla, salt, honey and cocoa powder until well-mixed
2. add your strawberry puree and diced strawberries
3. pour into a 9x13 dish (can be metal or glass) and stick in your freezer for 3 hours
4. pull pan out, scoop the forming icecream back into your kitchenAid bowl and whip it back up with your whisk attachment.
5. pour back into your 9x13 inch pan, spread gently and stick it back in the freezer for another 3 hours or so. 
6. when ready to serve, scoop like normal and store extra in an air-tight container in the freezer. 

Have a blessed Memorial Day everyone. 

"Greater love has no one than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends."
 John 15:13 ESV

"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature." 
-Ben Franklin

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recipes and Life Updates

Okay. So I am putting this out there: my blogging has been at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to family life and community life. Basically that's a GOOD thing when you don't hear from me. Unless you NEVER hear from me anywhere...then you MIGHT have reason to be concerned. 

Just sayin'. 

Or you might be disappointed I haven't been throwing any new recipes I've made up or found on the intrawebs to share.

Or you're a blog addict.

Anyhow-Life has been amazing, challenging and beautiful and stretching with three hobbits in tow (or in sling) and learning how to be a wife and mother in changing family dynamics.
Most of all this season of life has been a discovery of what it means to live an identity not defined by my sexuality, my motherhood, my wife-ness, a method of parenting or my position in society...but to define my identity in Christ and Christ alone. 

I recently attended the Mars Hill Women's Training Day in Ballard, WA and it was a GOOD rip-my-face-off-encouraging type of day. It was also a FREEING day. No, this was not a day where they told us that we needed to be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen at all times etc. It was a day to encourage women to glorify God in everyday life: whether that's being a mom, a co-worker, a wife, or all/any combination of the above. 

I have begun reading several books as well. I take my fiction and encouragement and toolbox seriously.  (Hunger games not pictured. this picture is of my most recent amazon purchase! Some GREAT Gentle Parenting resources here.) 
You know- all that time to read between caring for a family and an awesome husband, serving in the church and tweeting and chronic insomnia. 
Needless to say these books are rocking my face off...and my heart! Sally Clarkson is an amazing mama, writer, blogger and conference speaker who blogs over at I Take Joy and Mom Heart (two wonderfully encouraging blogs on mothering, mission, and gentle parenting)
Tietz and Oyer are two mamas who are associated with GCM (Gentle Christian Mothers) and wow. What a FREEING book to read, and I'm on my 3rd bebe! 
and Love and Logic is just...AWESOMESAUCE. Need tools? Here's a great place to find some practical gentle and pro-active advice. 

We also took a trip to Idaho to visit Micah's parents and littlest brother! It was an amazing car ride there and we had such a wonderful time eating wonderful food and having some wonderful times with the parents in Craigmont, Idaho. Unfortunately the car ride home wasn't so epic. 
but it WAS worth it! 

There have been a few moments of this in the more recent afternoons:

Some wonderful conversations and new growth and blessing with my Nerfherder...especially being blessed by this man who continues to parent our children with grace, lead our family by serving us and providing for us faithfully and loving and serving me with his heart, his hands and his grace-filled conversations.

 And I have been happily wasting spending A LOT of time staring at this silly girl. 
(Her name is Iona Emery)

Also, we've decided to temporarily follow Paleo Diet guidelines to reset our digestive systems, lose some weight and get back to real food eating. We're keeping raw dairy in our diet here and there but so far it's been a pretty good experience! I thought I'd share some cool easy recipes I've been trying out. These are Nerfherder-approved! 
(yes, I realise that these all have to do with baking, but seriously? Sometimes we need some encouragement when we get bombarded with all of the "stuff i'm not allowed to eat" days...oh and be able to bake something grain/sugar/gluten-free that does NOT taste like cardboard or glorified kitty kibble.)
I like to follow the general rule of thumb when preparing/consuming/sharing food: 

Real food should taste GOOD. No exceptions.

I added chocolate chips to this (carob nibs^_^)

a GREAT pizza crust recipe! I subbed with fresh garlic in this one. 
Also, word to the wise: please use a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
NOT wax paper. 
Unless you wanna eat your pizza with paper. 
You know. For Fiber.

(these work great! also, she has a lot of other great recipes on her site. and she is hilarious.)

Well! That seems to be about it. I'm off to make some salmon croquettes and roasted orange & fennel brussel sprouts for dinner and plan another way to use some amazing duck eggs for another dish. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yet Another Chicken Divan Recipe

(right now, I am just going to pretend that I haven't sorely neglected this blog...but to tell you the truth I have been enjoying life with my now 7-week old and other hobbits! I promise to give you a HUGE update on life as a mother to 3 hobbits...but for now? A recipe. Because we all know we need yummy food to function in life.)

This recipe was created after looking at several, including Lindsay's over at Passionate Homemaking and a sample taken from my menu planning software I use called Plan To Eat...I tweaked it a bit from there and it was fantastic! So I don't really take credit for much of it...just the combination:)

Chicken Divan
by SORT of but NOT REALLY me.

2 or 3 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes
1 lb. lightly steamed broccoli
2 3 or 4 cups condensed cream of mushroom soup (make your own from this recipe HERE and scroll down to the bottom. the recipe is quick, easy and yummy. took me like 10 minutes while the rice was cooking. you can use xanthan gum or arrowroot powder to thicken it instead of flour. you can also avoid all of those crappy nasty preservatives and MSG junk that people think is okay to put in canned soups. just sayin'. )
1 cup of white wine (i used Trader Joe's Charles Shaw chardonnay. i also drank a glass or two. cooking got happy last night. all i can say.)
1 Tbsp. curry powder 
1 c. cultured sour cream
3 to 4 cups of soaked brown rice (soaked to remove phytates and enzyme inhibitors) OR about 4 cups of soaked and cooked quinoa.
1 c. cheddar cheese (i use raw cheddar)
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs 
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
6-7 Tbsp. melted Butter (i use kerrygold grassfed butter)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine cream of mushroom soup, wine, sour cream, curry powder and cheddar cheese.
Get out a 9x13 stoneware casserole dish and put rice/quinoa on the bottom.
Put broccoli and cubed cooked chicken on.
Pour soup mixture on top and cover pan with lid or foil. cook for about 30/40 minutes.
Turn oven up to 375F. Remove cover from pan.
Combine melted butter, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese. spread crumbles all over the top of your dish and pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so OR until the crumbles are a nice golden brown.
Take the dish out, let it cool for about 5 or 10 minutes and serve it up! Makes about 10 generous servings and i know that this dish would probably make a GREAT freezer meal (if you wanna assemble minus the rice and cook it later.). Have fun and stuff your face...(i know you will because it's good!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 39 Weeks

Well here I am! It seems that this season has gone by so fast, and yet it's been since May of last year that I have been pregnant. Whoa.
So how does my body usually start labor? Well in short it's a process. My body experiences a lot of prodromal labor in sets in the couple of weeks preceding the actual birth. It's a lot of early work but it means that it's less work for me in the end. I internalize a lot when in active labor so I don't communicate much. Environment is everything to me when in labor as well so giving birth in warm water in my own home is pretty epic and relaxing...probably why most of you won't hear much until this hobbit is here!
So- I thought I'd give you all an update to give you an idea of what's been going on the past month or so.

*due date doesn't equal expiration date. Contrary to popular belief "omg you're STILL pregnant?!" I shall not remain pregnant forever. I swear. No really! Therefore I really don't worry over dates. It gives me a general time frame but as long as baby/placenta/etc. is fine I'm cool. So-do us sweet end-of-our-days-pregnant-mamas: stick to comments like "you look great!" or "we love you and are looking forward to meeting your little one!" NOT " are HUGE." or "they are STILL in there?!" or "wow-you are going to have your hands full!" ummm...not dumb and what if I LOVE having my heart and hands full? It will be a new and beautiful version of normal for our hobbit family and we welcome the fullness with love, joy and thankfulness! (sub-disclaimer: none of you have said these things so rest easy, ducks!) lol.

*my brain is almost completely sacked at the moment. Therefore all attempts at outside grammar/English correction of this post will thereby be ignored as I have a darn good reason for them. The world will move on..most likely. Pretty sure...

How Far Along: 39 weeks (tomorrow)

Total Weight Gain: leveled out at 156

Size of Baby: somewhere around 7 or 8 lbs and the size of a small watermelon or something along those lines!

How I Am Feeling: pretty darn good! I don't go out much these days (so I can make sure that I am getting enough rest, not aggravating my hips or back, and that my family and hobbit hole is taken care of first.) I also am feeling very taken care of by my wonderful husband. He has helped me out so much around here and has made made me feel very comfortable-even spoiling me with a new electric kettle, waffle iron, coffee table, and little luxuries like going to Lush and H&M:)

Recent Memorable Moment: playing star wars Lego on the Wii with Micah by candlelight at 11 at night! Loved it! also, my friend Becca hosting a Blessingway for me, also getting my belly covered in beautiful henna tattoo!

Food cravings: nope. Though I DID get to eat sushi yesterday after church. YUM. Okay that was a total craving I've had for MONTHS now...and I was indulged. ;)

Things I Miss: rolling from one side to the other without heaving and ho-ing. Also-no heartburn. Lol.

Looking toward to: the birth, getting to call my birth team up for a labor party at my house,holding this little one and breast feeding. Especially breast feeding as I REALLY miss it<3 and I also really miss baby wearing and am looking forward to using my slings, wraps and Ergo again<3

Friday, February 03, 2012

Hibernating Hobbit Hole

So some of you must wonder why it seems I am pretty cool with being home a lot more than is normally considered "normal" for an extroverted hobbit mama like me.
Especially this pregnancy-I totally made the commitment that starting January 1st until this baby hobbit comes-I am laying low. Lower than normal, even.
Yeah-we can make the usual guesses as to why: so I can nest, rest, and enjoy this family of mine in a more relaxed manner.
But there is another reason: it's the "I-Word".
Now-insomnia and I have become strange bedfellows these past 6 or 7 years. It comes and goes...sometimes I sleep great, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I get angry about it but usually I just don't worry about it much. I used to worry and freak out over the lack of sleep more (enter choosing to bedshare and cosleep because it was the right choice for our family and my sanity) ((see previous posts on sleep deprivation)) but have since come to terms with the fact that most people (yes, babies be people too!) don't sleep "bad"...they're just different sleepers.
I fluctuate in my sleeping patterns. Sometimes teas or other "hippie" stuff helps me, Jesus does...and sometimes I just lay awake all night.
Well anyhow-all of that to say that many of you may not know that about me. I am an intermittent insomniac wife and mother which means that I do crazy stuff like not go to play dates very often or "get out" a whole lot depending on when these fun bouts hit me.
Don't get me wrong here! I am smiling and laughing at this post because I just KNOW some one out there is reading this already thinking "oh my word poor thing! What can we do?" but the truth is: sometimes I need help, sometimes I need downtime (like I know this is the calm before the storm of birth, hormone-y rage, breastfeeding awesomeness all day and night and finding a new pattern to sew into this tapestry of my life as we welcome a new hobbit to our Shire) and most of the time that means laying low (and declining a lot of awesomeness) so that our family and I can survive and thrive right now.
Lack of sleep can make anyone fragile and prone to parenting crazies so I am trying to really just take a word from the wise, take a chill pill (aka non-caffeinated tea...right? Right?!) and relax as much as possible.
Does this mean I don't love you or value you? Absolutely not! I LOVE you all to bits! I love going out and exploring and letting my hobbits experience life beyond the Shire-but for now?
We will store up our rest and rejuvenation in quiet days, or days running about the house or yard yelling "FOR NARNIA! AND FOR ASLAN!!" and read mountains of books, build castle forts under the King's bed or watch Cinderella 3 times in a row.
Because we can.
Because there are always seasons.
Because sometimes doing "nothing" is underestimated.
So this sleep thing comes and goes. The ability to rest isn't always available, but I am going to cultivate it for what it is worth.
There will be seasons of exploring and changing and newness and vibrancy close on my horizons.
For now? We hibernate.
Spring is coming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Of Our Fish Died...Sort Of

I'll spare you pictures. Needless to say he was paralyzed and occasionally "breathing"...and I noticed it and pointed it out to my husband. He flushed it down the toilet (still slightly alive but what are you going to do?).
So- like any hyperemotional pregnant mommy 6 weeks-ish from giving birth I burst into tears.
I don't have this crazy deep complex over this stuff normally, though I am somewhat emotionally sensitive. I think that it triggered a few unpleasant memories in the past. I don't know if I ever actually blogged about this because for some reason I couldn't find the post but when I miscarried our 3rd little one at 9 weeks...I hurriedly flushed the remains down the umm...flushing things down the toilet isn't so easy. Even mostly-dead goldfish. Yeah, I know you probably didn't see that coming but I just thought I'd throw that out there.
It's something a piece of my heart will always be healing a bit more from-and that is ok.
So little goldfish with your beautifully long tail (who was an abandoned fish from the pet store whom my husband brought home). I know you were just a fish. God made you. You didn't have a soul. I wasn't attached to you. But I cried when you got flushed. RIP.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks

So again, I have fallen "behind" in giving you all an update on my hobbit gestation progress! As you can see from the title, I haven't far to go! Here are the stats:

How Far Along: 33 weeks (as of tomorrow)

Total Weight Gain: 28 lbs. (2 stone)

How Big Is Baby: about 4-ish pounds I believe and the size of a melon (small one.)

Best Moment This Week: started reading Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll and every time the book was on my belly baby would start kicking and pushing at it. Apparently space is precious? Lol.

Movement: ALOT. flip flopping...tumbling, intentional movement when they are uncomfortable...lots of hiccups, etc. my body (especially sciatica and hip dysplasia has felt a TON better as I have learned more triggers and done some stretches suggested by my midwives and have limited straining movements/activities unless absolutely necessary! The Lord is good!)

Food Cravings: orange juice, frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe's, kale chips, Dutch Bros. and sushi. (particularly raw salmon!!)

What I Miss: shaving my legs comfortably, feeling more balanced and rolling over on my bed with ease. it's like a beached whale experiment every time that happens. no joke:P

Milestones: I have about 7 weeks or so left! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years have come and gone and was absolutely wonderfully spent with family. I can't believe I am at the "end." I have two wonderful friends hosting a baby shower and a mother blessing and I am still so grateful and full of love:) 

Any Other News: We are enjoying getting involved with and serving with Mars Hill Portland and are being challenged, encouraged and loved. We are so thankful for the Lord's continued abundant provision and health for our family and are anticipating wonderful things as we delve into this new season of life serving each other and adding another hobbit to our little Shire. It is wonderful!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Banana Nut Pancakes aka HEAVEN IN YOUR MOUTH

So let me preface this by saying that I was going to say mouthgasm in the title. There. I said it. I don't say it often, but it really portrays the level of awesomeness this recipe creates in your mouth. It's. That. Good.
So that being said; if you aren't offended by the word and have left by now writing me off as an immature on. Your....tastebuds will be VERY happy.
photo courtesy of Charles Masters

Banana Nut Pancakes
adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray
to include real food ingredients
Katie Barreira Everyday senior test kitchen associate
3/4 c. unbleached organic flour
3/4 c. spelt flour or whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. rapadura sugar (or whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, raw or roasted (your preference)
1 1/4 c. raw full-fat milk (or what you have on hand, more fat the better!)
2 pastured eggs, separated 
3 tbsp. grassfed butter, melted (plus extra butter for griddle batches and topping pancakes)
3 Bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 Tbsp. grassfed butter
maple syrup

1. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder and sea salt. In another bowl whisk the milk, egg YOLKS and melted butter together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until JUST combined. 
2. Preheat your griddle over medium heat. Beat the reserved eggwhites to soft peaks (the kitchenAid works great for this, but you can do it by hand as well!). GENTLY fold the whites into the batter. 
3. Grease the griddle with your pastured butter and ladle on 1/4 c. portions of batter. cook until bubbles form and the pancakes are cooked around the edges, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook through, 1 minute more. 
4. Heat up a small frying pan to medium high, add about a tbsp. of butter and let it slightly brown, then add your sliced bananas. let them brown on one side, then flip them. This only takes a couple of minutes as they cook really quickly! They should have a nice browned quality to them. Remove from heat and make sure your pancakes aren't burning. 
5. Plate your finished pancakes and put a slice of Kerrygold butter on top, your carmelized bananas, and drizzle pure maple syrup all over everything. Get ready for a mouthgasm.

Goes GREAT with some real raw farm fresh milk!!! Hope you guys enjoy this;) 
**Thanks to my mom, Jamie who signed me up for Rachel Ray's magazine to give me some more ideas for food and tweak them!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Surviving and Thriving in Pregnancy

I am sure any and all of you pregnant mamas can relate to me at one point or another with the following:
That silent guilt trip you give yourself as you stuff your face with Tater Tots for the 3rd time today because making a sandwich is seriously too much to handle right now.
Nothing sounds good.
You want me to cook nourishing meals for my family when I feel like WHAT?!
I'm barely on top of trying to maintain a house, nurture my children, love on my husband and food is really the last thing on my mind...unless I'm hungry...then everything else can just slide. 
Standing is really low on my priority list because my (insert ailing body part/body here) is really making life a living disability right now. 
I could go on and on with the situations of life, family and special circumstances surrounding these few months that we are carrying a precious life inside of us, and sometimes it's all we can do to just throw in the towel and say "I GIVE UP! GIVE ME BURGERVILLE OR GIVE ME DEATH!"
I know that for me, this pregnancy has resulted in pretty severe sciatica pain and my hip dysplasia flaring up if I do even light housework or stand for more than 10 minutes or bend over to you know...tend to my two toddlers.  I have a sweet friend who is due a few weeks after I am and she is dealing with some pretty severe vericose veins in her legs which makes moving or functioning on a "normal" pregnant mommy level nigh near impossible. There is so much I could write about tips to make things easier on ourselves as far as food, housework, asking for/accepting help, asking our spouses to help us more than usual, etc. So today, I'll just focus on some good ideas to simplify our menus, and maximize nutrition during our pregnancies without breaking the bank, spending 4 hours in the kitchen or having to spend precious brain cells on thinking about what to fix next (when frankly we feel like goldfish right now...let's face it ladies...our memory sucks for 10 months. Placenta Brain. Baby Took My Brain Cells. You know the drill.)  So, here it is! I'm sure there are ALOT of great ideas not mentioned here, but here are a few ideas that have helped me survive morning sickness, lack of motivation, give myself some grace and tender care when it comes to food and our family!

#1 Menu Plan
I know you've heard it from me before but you're gonna hear it again...If you want to plan to succeed you need to PLAN! (my husband usually gets paid every other friday so usually wednesday or thursday of the week he gets paid I go ahead and make out my menu for the next 2 weeks.) Then we go shopping on the weekend (and he usually comes along so we stay in budget better, keep the kids from eating each other, and help me make better decisions, especially right now that my...well...PLACENTA BRAIN.
-make a list of your family's FAVOURITE 15-20 meals and rotate them.
-if you're more of a "theme" person, come up with a themed night for every weeknight and eat leftovers on the weekends. Things like Taco Tuesdays, Pizza Fridays, Crockpot Wednesdays, Munchy Mondays, Soup Thursdays...or even Chicken Mondays and Wednesdays, Beef Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fish Fridays or Beans/Vegetarian Mondays... Something like that...just DO it, then put your favorite meals that match up with that in that.
 But again, write out a plan whether it's for 1 week, 2 weeks, or for the month. ( i'd personally go with making a 2 week menu plan or bigger only so It's one less thing I have to do weekly)
-plan out your breakfasts and lunches too. Don't kill yourself trying to come up with tons of stuff  variety. I usually rotate oatmeal, yogurt and granola, eggs and toast, 1 day of cereal etc. and leave saturday mornings or sunday mornings to make something a little more involved ONLY IF I AM UP TO IT.  That's it, baby. Lunches are much the same, rotate a couple days of sandwiches, one day of popcorn, veggies, fruit, cheese, pickles, leftovers for a lunch, and quesadillas with veggies/fruit.
-one of the most IMPORTANT things I tell pregnant ESPECIALLY during pregnancy, make ABSOLUTELY sure to include healthy protein sources into every meal that you eat. Whether it's that you have to cook an egg or two on the side to eat with your oatmeal, or with your sandwich at lunch or beans/meat with dinner...just DO it. You and baby need it and it's one of the best ways to give you and baby sustained energy. 5 minutes can make a huge difference in how the next 6 hours go!

#2 Simplify
-of course I want to include lots of dark leafy greens, veggies, fruits, yadda yadda...but you know what? Sometimes it just DOESN'T happen. So instead of trying to buy out the produce market to make smoothies, juices and salads 3 times a day...How about one time a day? whether it's a smoothie in the morning, a smoothie with lunch or a salad with dinner....plan on a green side/smoothie ONE TIME in your day. Don't overthink it. Don't kill yourself if it doesn't happen every day...but if it is important to you, do it. Just don't OVER-do it. Less bulk in your fridge and less time of you preparing stuff.
-if it takes more than 5 or 6 ingredients to make, chuck the recipe for now and come up with something more simple.
-use simple resources like Rachel Ray's website for quick meal ideas that are under 30 minutes (adjust according to your family's diet preferences). Do simple things like a crockpot chili, taco soup, pizza, crockpot roast, grilled cheese sammies and tomato soup, chicken/marinara pasta, tacos, your two favourite soups, easy stir fry, pot stickers- all of that.
-maximize your time and make concessions where necessary. if you don't want to hand-shred potatoes for making latkes or hash browns, get Trader Joe's Tots. They don't have any weird ingredients or hydrogenated oils in them. Don't wanna make your own yogurt? Get Nancy's Whole Milk Yogurt. Want to do a pre-made frozen meal once a week so you don't have to cook? Find something at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or Fred Meyer, etc. like a frozen lasagna or something your family loves! Don't wanna make your own bread or tortillas? Buy them.
-don't fall for the gadget/food fad and get wrapped up in it. just be simple and consistent for your family.
-think about making anything that involves more prepwork (or even quick soups like broccoli cheddar soup!) in the MORNING or AFTERNOON when most of us will have more energy instead of the END of the day when all you want to do is sleep, cry, vege...again...this is why having a MENU PLAN FOR EVERYTHING...EVEN YOUR FREAKING SNACKS makes all the difference.

#3 Give Yourself Grace
-this doesn't mean to start compromising you and your families' health by eating junk all the time.
-what it DOES mean is to not get so caught up in food that you miss taking care of yourself, your family, and your sanity. we could all do with being a bit more gracious to ourselves in this season. for some, this can mean cutting out some activities/outings, simplifying our menu/meal plans, asking for our husband's help around the house more and focusing our attention and time HOMEWARD.
-one of the most valuable things that has been given to me in this season of being a stay-at-home mama and a one-car family is that it forces me to limit where I go, what I do and how much I do it. It has caused me to focus much more on maintaining my home, my family and my relationship with the Lord. To learn to discipline my time better and realize that it is BEST that I make things very simple, very calm and relatively uncomplicated for these next few months of hobbit's gestation (and may I say for life?)
-and here's where I get nitty gritty. If you're feeling obligated to "keep your day" busy, or constantly be going here and there...doing this and that-either by YOU or your PEERS....STOP IT. Stop it right now. Our homes and our kids, and our pregnancies/pregnant bodies are suffering because we're too busy trying to maintain the "I can do it all mom" image...then we get burned out, frazzled, short-tempered, frumpy, grumpy, over-extended, physically injured and sick. We're at our wit's end and we're allowing others' and our own expectations and standards (even those we perceive but aren't there!) to rule our lives instead of the quiet, constant floodtide of the grace and beauty of God.
-KNOW YOUR LIMITS...and if you don't? MAKE SOME. I know that I speak from experience as a firstborn over-achieving type A extrovert. Maintaining a social standard for the sake of your reputation and because it makes you feel good is ridiculous. And exhausting. And completely unnecessary.
-LET GO. Enough said.
-"Therefore by the grace of God go I." Let this be our creed, ladies. We can't do ANYTHING apart from the grace and love and strength and mercy of Jesus. Oh, we can go for a while, but it's going burn out really fast without HIS strength and purpose and grace going before us and infusing us so that we can live each day.

I hope these have helped! I didn't include specific recipes, but I'll include some frequently-used resources of mine for any ideas I need a part from our "favorites" list right now.

What are some ways you simplify your life and food habits during pregnancy? Any advice you can give?

Rachel Ray's recipes (usually quick and uncomplicated and easy to search for something!)
Frugal Granola's recipes (especially the crockpot/one-pot meal section!) also, take a look at her menu plans when she posts them. they are really simple, really fabulous (she has little ones!) and don't take tons of time in the kitchen.
Amy from The Finer Things In Life (has some great family-friendly recipes and pictures too! She has some great kitchen tips and tricks as well!)
Keeper Of The Home (has alot of easy quick meal options---take a peek!)
Lindsay from Passionate Homaking (this page is a GREAT resource for busy seasons, quick and easy meals that are nourishing and further resources on simple nourishing food to cook depending on the season of life you are in!)