Since baby girl is almost here, we have decided to switch to a “Lower Carb” lifestyle. Not going to lie but I am quite excited to be getting back to this. We were just about to give this a try when I found out I was pregnant and all I could keep down was applesauce, saltine crackers, Gatorade and diet ginger ale for about 7 weeks. Ah pregnancy, what joyous times filled with morning sickness. Anyways, now that she is almost here (39 weeks 5 days pregnant) I am excited to give this a go. Since you never want to start something super drastic when changing your lifestyle, takes about 28 days to start a new habit, we are going to ease into the “Lower Carb” lifestyle.
Breakfast is easy for me this week, I made extra breakfast casserole last week so all I have to do is pull it out of the freezer in batches, one batch Sunday night and one batch Wednesday night. Lunch with the two options alternating days: Jalapeno popper chicken casserole (found the recipe on Pinterest) and spicy chickpeas and quinoa. For dinners I am thinking Tacos with Mexican street corn and all of our leftovers from Memorial Day (the perks of a BBQ). Since it’s Memorial Day on Monday, we will be grilling burgers (no buns) and corn on the cob!
Now, let’s get our lunch on! Lunch is definitely my favorite part of the day. Let’s talk Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole. So this is not one of my recipes, I found it online. I hear spicy foods induce labor (it could work). My husband not a fan of spicy so I probably will use less jalapenos than the recipe calls for. About the recipe:
Side Note: I like to give credit when credit is due. This again is not one of my recipes, I am very excited to share it with you. I am hoping it’s truly amazing!
Remember those ways to be successful in meal prep, well here is where those wonderful 3 compartment containers come into play. Chicken in the big slot (yum), those 2 smaller slots fill it up with veggies. Any kind of veggies you and your family fancy. Veggies, not only are they good for us, they have a ton of added benefits to them.
Yum!! Who loves added bonuses? I know I do, so fill your other two slots of your compartment box with rich vegetable colors and gain from all the benefits. Alright, lets move on from veggies to the rest of our weekly lunch. Option number 2, drum roll please…Spicy chickpea and quinoa!
You can really do anything with chickpeas, which is why I secretly love them! So this meal is not only nut free, its gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian (it might actually be vegan, I am not too great at knowing the difference). Chickpeas are a nice substitute for protein because 1/2 a cup is equivalent to 6 grams of protein! 1/2 a cup of quinoa cooked has 4 grams, so we are talking 10 grams of protein without even eating any meat! (think back to our numbers we talked about earlier) Winner, Winner Chickpea Dinner. I know I am hilarious!!
Alright here’s the recipe (Serves 6):
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped (yellow or white)
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (I prefer mine with green chilies, plus that’s what I already have at my house)
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Fresh cilantro, garnish (optional)
- To make quinoa follow the instructions on the package. Some of them require you to wash the quinoa first while others are quick cook.
- Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan (use instead of water), and add to boiling broth.
- Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients (minus the cilantro), stirring to combine.
- Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
NOTE: let everything cool before assembly
Assembly, I used those trusty mason jars (starting with the bottom)
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 3/4 cup of chickpea mix
- some cilantro
- a heaping handful of arugula
- I put a quarter of a lime on top just in case
Doesn’t that sound mighty tasty? I am going to pair it with a small container of fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth!
Alright, last but not least, Dinner! Lets do some dinner prep to make not only my week easier but life easier for my husband in case baby girl shows up this week. My easy pull from the freezer and heat up meal comes from the world of trader joes. Its literally shrimp and veggies you cook in a sauté pan and serve over that 3 minute trader joes brown rice! Easy, done! Meal two also pretty easy, Tacos with Mexican street corn.
Lets talk Mexican street corn. I have had this a few times at festivals and let me tell you there is nothing healthy about it, but paired with ground turkey taco meat it can’t be too bad, right? So let me start out saying, I cut the recipe in half. There are two of us and the recipe serves 10, first off that’s a lot of Mexican street corn salad! The recipe has been pulled from 4sonrus.com and the link has been attached at the beginning of the paragraph. I am pairing it with simple ground turkey. I cook the ground turkey in a frying pan then add 1-2 tbsp of taco seasoning along with 1/2 cup of water to the meat. This gives the seasoning a chance to coat all of the meat. I then will serve them side by side with a nice greens salad, no dressing because the street corn will be heavy enough!
Now that it’s all done, it’s time to sit down with an ice cold lemonade and put my feet up!