Momversation Monday – Homemade Baby Food

Hello All!

As I mentioned in my “coming back” post, I’m going to try to incorporate posts about my new role as a mom so I thought a mom-themed post on Mondays would be a great balance. I love alliteration.

After my first week back to work, I was thrilled to spend the weekend with Z and EJ. I soaked up every minute of my time with the Z-monster and I was thrilled to be here for her first giggle-fest. It was music to my ears. I swear EJ and I were beaming for hours after the fact and those 5 minutes made my day.

This weekend I was also able to carve out some time to do something that I’ve been looking forward to since we found out that we were expecting, make baby food. I don’t know why but I’ve always been excited (hello dorky lady) to make my own baby food. And I’m here to tell you that it is not only extremely easy, it can also be ridiculously cheap if you grow your own produce or buy it locally while in season.

This was actually my second batch of zucchini and summer squash puree. Our zucchini plant has been working overtime in our garden AND my sister was kind enough to gift us her garden leftovers as well.

I followed the Cooking for Baby cookbook recipe to make both batches and I can’t stress how easy it was.

You will need:
– One big pot
– Veggie Steamer
– Food Processor/Blender
–  2-3 large Zucchini/Summer Squash
– Water
– Ice Cube Trays or Baby food freezer trays (I use Fresh Baby trays but regular old trays will work perfectly)

Step One: Fill your pot with about one inch of water and boil. (I place my veggie steamer into the pot while bring the water to a boil) This took about 3-3 1/2 cups of water.

Step Two: Chop your Zucchini into 1 inch thick rounds

Step Three: Place chopped zucchini into the pot and cover. Let sit for 9-11 minutes. *One of my zucchini’s was mammoth so it took me about 14 minutes. Make sure the squash is soft before transferring it.
*Edited to add: keep the heat on while steaming the veggies. 🙂

Step Four: Transfer steamed squash into food processor and puree/pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency (i.e. no chunks)

Step Five (last one): Transfer puree into ice-cube trays and place in the freezer until frozen (duh!). This takes about 8 hours for me, but I need them pretty firm so I can transfer them into a ziploc bag.

Done.

Truth be told I have zero clue how much this actually yields because Z isn’t eating solids (are we really calling the picture above a solid?) yet. I’ll have to do a follow-up post once she starts actually eating the homemade baby food. Next, on my list will be butternut squash and apples. I’m not sure if we will be able to feed her homemade food exclusively while she is transitioning from puree to actual solids, but I would like to give it my best attempt especially since I enjoy making it.

Now, if anyone has any ideas for what this girl can do with all this basil send them my way. (Not pesto! I’ve used 10 cups of basil already and have enough pesto to last through the rest of the year)

Let me know if you have any ideas for my new posting series, I’m thinking my title might be a tad dork, perhaps we’ll shorten to Mom Monday. Happy Monday ladies and gents!

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Adventures of the girl who forgot breakfast

I’ve decided that rather than act like a two year-old in full tantrum mode, I’ll embrace September (read: end of the summer) and focus on all the things I love about this time of year.

  1. Apple Season
  2. Pretty Scenery (changing leaves)
  3. Nikki’s Wedding
  4. Oktoberfest Celebrations

As much as some people are excited about tights, I’m not and I can’t even think about fighting my giraffe legs into those tiny pieces of fabric.

Moving on, I started my day with 6 am flow taught by the Barry White of yoga. Seriously, sometimes I not sure if I’m supposed to fall asleep or be turned on.

Although I wasn’t little miss sunshine going into class, I felt like her when I was leaving the studio. I was showered and ready for a new day and the start of September.  That was until I realized all I had for breakfast was a banana.

Yea, with 3 workouts scheduled today a banana wasn’t going to cut it. So, I ventured when I hadn’t ventured before, the cafeteria at breakfast time. I quickly scanned my options for something moderately healthy. It wasn’t easy, but I left with a balance and healthy breakfast.

Hard-boiled egg, jelly English muffin sandwich = YUM! I was proud, I finally tried the egg/sweet combo and you will definitely see it again on the blog.

Happy Hump Day!

Workplace Wellness

I woke up feeling like Mack truck had run over me. I was congested, exhausted (still) and grumpy bc my little fur baby was taking up ALL of my leg room. Obviously, I need to start my day with a GM but I wanted to try a new combo that incorporated elements of avocado mousse.

Avocado Mousse GM

–          2.5 cups Spinach

–          1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk*

–          ½-2/3 frozen banana

–          1.5 Tbsp BioChem Vanilla Protein Powder

–           ¼ Avocado

–          1 Tbsp (heaping) Cocoa

–          Sweetener to taste

This GM might have been topped with Lucky Charms. J This bad boy was thick, almost too thick and BIG, so I was still fueled for my lunchtime run.  I love having salad for breakfast. J

While I was heating up my amazing leftover eggplant tortilla pizza, I saw my work’s weekly cafeteria menu posted on the fridge. We’ll get to the amazing leftovers in a minute.

I was intrigued because the soup I had yesterday was so filling and flavorful. I was, shocked, horrified and completely disappointed. There are so many ways my company attempts to encourage, support and educate a healthy lifestyle but the daily main entrée at the cafeteria is not one of them.

Today’s entrée was fried fish with French fries. Tomorrows? You have your choice of either 3 Cheese Grilled Cheese served with fries or Old fashioned tater tot casserole with dessert. My heart hurt to thinking about all of the people that have and are planning to consume those meals.

It is 2010 for goodness sake, by now every menu item should have the accompanying nutritional information.  The cafeteria does have a sandwich bar and salad bar, however the daily entrees are significantly cheaper than the sandwich meal or salad bar.  I really, really, really (last one was important) think that if this information was posted, people would modify their choices or at least modify the rest of their day to compensate for that selection.  I’m contemplating contacting our wellness committee and complaining…thoughts?

Does your work place provide healthy meal options or nutritional information for their daily menu items?

Back to your scheduled program, my lunch.

The leftover eggplant pizza was even better today, I think the flavor had time to blend and the “cheese” had time to marry. It was a great recovery meal after my 4.5 mile run over lunch. Yummy! I also munched on an amazingly juicy apple that was perfect for a little sweet and crunch to finish off my lunch.

For the next few days I’ll be a single lady. 😦 EJ and Ralphie are headed up to the Johnson Family cabin along with the rest of the Johnson crew. I’m so jealous but I just have to remind myself that I’ll be on my way up there in 2 short days.

Hopefully, I can find some shenanigans to myself into.. 🙂

Poor Man Smoothie

Friday is finally here! I can’t wait until the clock says 4:15, than vacation mode begins.

I’m bummed that yesterday got away from me, I had so much I wanted to post. C’est la vie.

Last night was my last volleyball game, or so we thought. When we arrived we were told that in order to get into the play-offs we had to win our game and a team playing later would have to lose their game. The first game was rough; we were up 8 or 9 points and then ending up losing. However, we put on our game faces and rally caps, and then proceeded to win the next two games! WOOT.

A group of us stayed around to watch the other team hopefully lose. Sorry, other team! While waiting we enjoyed some adult beverages and there may have been some wings consumed.

Isn't she adorable? Meet Caroline aka Liney aka Martha aka adorable 🙂

Winners!

In a last stitch effort to clean our fridge out AND put something nice into my body, I whipped up a poor man’s GM smoothie.

  • 1 ½ cup almond milk (I don’t want to waste ANY of it)
  • 2 heaping tbsp of TJ’s Vanilla Hemp protein powder & greens
  • ½ cup strawberry yogurt
  • 1 tsp flaxseed

Isn’t my new to-go smoothie container cute? I picked her up last night while shopping for vacation snacks at Whole Foods.

I’m a little sad that I will be without my yoga studio for the next 11 days but I’m VERY excited to run outside, on a beach with my family.  Is it 4 yet?

Million Dollar Salad

Oh my Joan! You make it hurt soooooo good. My 75 min inner fire flow class was intense and Joan wasn’t messin’ around today. You know when your instructor says, “either jump or step back into your high plank,” from standing position? I was able to hop today! I left feeling accomplished and like a puddle of goo and happiness. 🙂

For lunch today, I was out and about running some errands and  decided to try a new chain restaurant. I like salads (no surprise there) so many of my friends have told me about this new restaurant because they thought I would enjoy it, so I had to give it a try.

I stopped at my local Salad Creations to pick up a…salad. The menu and layout are immediately overwhelming, however the staff wasn’t at all pushy and were very helpful. They even let me try samples of the dressing when I couldn’t decide.

I went with the Santa Fe Chicken salad, substituted  spinach for romaine and requested no cheese. The salad spoke to me with its whispers of chicken, tomatoes, carrots, red onions, corn and sunflower seeds.

Hey Salad Creations, doesn’t it suck when someone buys your .com URL? That has to sting a little bit. Any who, I opted for the large because I didn’t bring anything else for lunch or an afternoon snack. I also like to see how much salad I can consume in one sitting.

Verdict #1 – I can consume ALOT of greens.

Verdict #2 – The salad was good and very healthy (around 350 calories w/out cheese), but SUPER expensive at $9 something with tax. My other comment is, HOLY, HOLY red onions batman. The ratio was completely off and left me with horrible breath the remainder of the day.

That’s all I have to say about that.

G’night.

Lunchtime Efficiency

Good afternoon! I realized that I rarely share my lunch eats and I wanted to give you a peek at what a typically lunch looks like. Most days, I eat at my desk because I take advantage of my company’s on-site gym during my lunch break.

Today for example, I kicked my tush on the elliptical while trying to read lecture notes. It was a great workout  and a not-so-great study session. I’m cool with that, we can’t win them all.

I realized how much strength I’ve built in such short amount of time and I couldn’t help but smile mid-workout. Reason #1560 that my co-workers (at the gym) probably think I’m nuts.  Back in March level 4 on the elliptical killed me, and today I was between levels 10-12.  As I’ve mentioned before, yoga has really helped me recognize and appreciate my body’s strength and I love that I’ve been able to carry this recognition into my daily life. Although it may sound crazy, I find myself thanking my body for what I put it through on a daily basis.

I rewarded myself kindly with a wonderful lunch.

First, a ham and turkey sandwich on sprouted grain bread with garlic lovers hummus, mustard and diced roasted red peppers.

Then I devoured my sliced green peppers and almost forgot about the laughing cow cheese I brought. I was able to try the swiss laughing cow on my apple as well and I really enjoyed the tart apple and creamy swiss flavor combination.

I also brought a mammoth grapefruit and chocolate brownie Z-bar for my afternoon snack. Check it out.

However, I took one look at the Z-bar and  pooof it was gone. 🙂 Although I follow Weight Watchers, I believe this lunch is about 500 calories.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my typical sack lunch.

Typical Tuesday

Before I tell you all (as if anyone is reading this) about myself or what my dinner eats looked liked, I need to tell you that coming up with a post title is much harder than I thought. I give all the bloggers out there mucho credit for their funny and witty titles. I’ll need to work on this.

Who is Glorious Greens? My name is Leanne and I’m a 26 year old, married lady living in Madison, WI. My hope for this blog is to share my passion for cooking, healthy eating, and fitness.  I’m focused on finding a healthy balance in my life while juggling work, school, being a wife and having a social life.  I’ll try to find some comparison photos to post soon.

Tonight’s dinner was easy to make and was exactly what I was craving. I saw a recipe on Weight Watchers for Greek Style Spaghetti Squash, realized I had all the ingredients and it sounded tasty.

Before the Spinach Attack

After the Spinach Attack

It was delish, also the chives and chopped mint pictured came straight from my garden. Love that!

*I cooked the squash last night and I think letting it cool down made it easier to pull apart and become spaghetti-like. I can’t be positive until I try it again.

My workout today was quick but intense. I ran on the treadmill for a quick 3 miles at an 8:40 pace which is fast for me these days. (Thanks Sis for the motivation) I was hoping to get a P90X Plyo workout in this evening but I’ve spent my alloted procrastination time tonight on getting this blog started! Off to study. 🙂