Quick Cornbread Waffles

It’s no secret that baking is not my forte. Shall we recall the number of mishaps with the oven I’ve had? Or perhaps the great chocolate chip cookie debacle?

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I don’t particularly enjoy activities at which I don’t excel (just ask Seth about the onetime we went bowling). Nonetheless, I keep crawling back, hoping that I’ll create a decent baked good.

Today’s attempt: cornbread. I’m planning on making vegetarian chili for dinner tonight, and I wanted to bake some sort of corn-based item to accompany it (cornbread, corn muffins, etc.). This time, however, I decided to skip the oven altogether. Instead, I relied on my trusty waffle maker.

Quick Cornbread Waffles

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Makes 5 full-sized waffles, or 20 quarter-waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1-1/4 cups skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • non-stick cooking spray

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1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

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2. Add eggs, skim milk, and honey (if using), and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t overmix.

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3. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray, and allow it to heat up. (I chose between levels 3 and 4 on my Cuisinart model).

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4. Once waffle iron has reached desired temperature, pour enough batter to cover all the “nubbers.”

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5. Close iron and cook until golden brown.

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Nutrition per full-size waffle: 213 Calories, 2.6g fat, 34mg cholesterol, 481mg sodium, 40.9g carbohydrate, 5.1g fiber, 3.2g sugars, 9.4g protein

Nutrition per quarter-waffle: 53 Calories, 0.6g fat, 8mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 10.2g carbohydrate, 1.3g fiber, 0.8g sugars, 2.3g protein

Beware of dogs hoping to sneak a bite!

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Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

If you bring up the topic of pasta salad with anyone in my family, I guarantee they will start to laugh. Why? Because I once had an infamous collision with an extra-large batch of the stuff, right before we were about to take it to a Fourth of July picnic.

I was about five years old , and I guess I lost control of one of my limbs (not an uncommon occurrence), which brought the pasta salad crashing to the floor. I remember screaming, “DON’T TELL MOM!!!” as my sister Lea laughed hysterically and I tried to scoop the dog hair-covered pasta back into the bowl.

Ah, fond memories.

Anyway, despite that experience, I still really love my mom’s pasta salad recipe. Her recipe included a few ingredients that I like to avoid (e.g., white pasta), so I decided to put a little Caroline-twist on the original. And by that, I don’t mean adding dog hair.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

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Makes 4 entree-sized portions

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 4 oz dry whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 ounces light sharp cheddar (such as Cabot)

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For the Dressing:

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

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Method

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions. The brand I used required about 7 minutes to cook.

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2. Meanwhile, chop veggies and assemble the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

3. Once pasta has cooked, drain and cool with ice cubes.

4. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then add dressing and stir to coat. Chill for 1-2 hours prior to serving.

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Nutrition per 1/4 recipe (~240 grams): 304 Calories, 9.9g fat, 1.7g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 45.0g carbohydrate, 8.2g fiber, 3.2g sugars, 13.4g protein

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Smoky BBQ Hummus

Smoky BBQ Hummus

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Makes about 2/3 cup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas/garbanzos
  • 2 T. of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Stubb’s)
  • 1 T. tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • a couple shakes liquid smoke
  • 1/4 t. ground red pepper
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. child powder
  • salt, to taste

1. Mince garlic before processing, especially if you are using an immersion blender. Otherwise, the clove does not break down and distribute evenly throughout the dip. Biting into hunks of raw garlic is not pleasant, in my experience.

2. Place everything in food processor and pulse or combine with immersion blender.

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Nutrition per 2 tablespoons (1/5 recipe): 54 Calories, 2.0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134mg sodium, 7.9g carbohydrate, 1.4g fiber, 1.0g sugars, 1.8g protein

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Spicy Cilantro Popcorn

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to discover a study that provided perfect justification for eating copious amounts of one of my favorite snack foods—popcorn. According to Dr. Joe Vinson, popcorn is not only a good source of whole grain fiber but also an extremely concentrated source of polyphenols. Indeed, popcorn contains comparatively higher amounts of these antioxidant compounds than fruits and vegetables. While Dr. Vinson’s findings are encouraging, they’re not an excuse to skip your greens in favor of cartons of movie theater popcorn. Those fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals not found in popcorn.

Nonetheless, the surprising antioxidant content of popcorn does indicate that it can be a nutritious snack option. The key is to prepare it without smothering these “nutritional gold nuggets” with hundreds of Calories’ worth of butter or oil. Seth and I happen to love making our own air-popped popcorn for our movie nights, so this study provided the perfect excuse to get creative with our favorite snack.

Spicy Cilantro Popcorn

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • cooking spray*
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste

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(Farm fresh cilantro, picked yesterday!)

You’ll also need a paper bag for cooking the kernels.

Method

1. Pour kernels into a brown paper bag, and fold the top closed. You can tape it closed if you like, but it’s not necessary.

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2. Place in the microwave and use the “popcorn” button if available. If your microwave doesn’t have that feature, try cooking for about 1 minute on high, or until there are 2-3 seconds between pops.

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(Can you see my reflection?)

3. Transfer popped kernels to a large bowl and spray generously with cooking spray. Sprinkle lime juice, salt, cayenne pepper, and cilantro over the top and toss to combine.

Note:

*If you happen to have one of those handy Misto sprayers for your oil of choice, by all means use that! I used an olive oil-based cooking spray.

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Dig in!

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Nutrition per entire recipe: 165 Calories, 2.1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 33.4g carbohydrate, 6.8g fiber, 0.3g sugar, 5.5g protein

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A New Look

Good evening, everyone! What do you think of the new look? (If you’re reading this in Google Reader, click on over to see the changes!). Many thanks to Zesty for all his hard work on the new header and site overhaul–the Broccoli Hut is now even more broccoli-tastic.

I have plenty of pictures to share tonight, so I’ll let the food do the talking:

Friday
Just a standard choco-berry shake to get my weekend kicked off right.

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Saturday
Since school started in August, I have been having to re-create the goodness of Rachel’s flavored cottage cheese on my own–the Durham Whole Foods now longer carries them. Don’t they know how magically delicious cucumber dill cottage cheese is?

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Once I was all showered, I set to work on my paper about fresh vs. frozen fruits and vegetables. I took a short breather half-way through in order to re-fuel myself. That offensively unattractive gray goop is actually white bean-artichoke dip flavored with garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

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Several hours later, my paper was complete and I was more than ready for more food. Funny how thinking feverishly while sitting in a computer chair all day can work up an appetite. I used up the rest of my leftover hummus from Elmo’s on Friday night to make an amazing sandwich.

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This shake was like a delectable peach cloud. Yummy.

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Sunday
My breakfast this morning featured not one but two of my recent foodie obsessions: pumpkin and raw almond butter.

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Lunch was another batch of Ginger-Peanut Tofu Salad from Everyday Dish.

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Before heading out to chapter this evening, I made a quick bean salad along with some tasty sides to round out the meal.

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Alright, off to prepare for the week!

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Growth

Once again, our pediatrician appointment isn’t for a few more days, so we don’t have the specifics on his weight and length these days. At his last appointment, he was 9 lbs, 3.4 oz and 21 and 3/4 inches long, both of which put him at about the 50th percentile. I would venture to say that he has since passed the 10-pound threshold, based on how heavy he feels when I lug him around in his car seat. He has also graduated to the 0-3 months size clothing.

Likes & Dislikes

Caleb continues to love looking at lights, although mirrors are pretty fascinating too. He quite enjoys admiring his own reflection! Peek-a-boo is now a favorite pastime as well; that’s my go-to strategy to snap him out of a cranky mood. As far as dislikes, Caleb generally doesn’t like not being held, which makes simple things like making lunch a tad difficult. He also puts up a fuss when he’s bored, so I’ve taken to talking to him all day long to keep him occupied. Just yesterday, I gave him a lecture on my smoothie ingredients and their nutrition benefits. #nerdalert

Eating & Sleeping

We’re still going strong on the breastfeeding front. I give him about one bottle of pumped breast milk per day to which I add probiotics drops (prescribed by the pediatrician to help with gastrointestinal issues). Caleb sleeps like a champ, which makes Seth and me very happy. It’s pretty typical for him to sleep from about 10:30PM to 7AM. Occasionally, he’ll wake up for a 3AM feeding, but for the most part, he has adapted to his parents’ sleeping schedule quite nicely! (I know I’m jinxing myself by typing that out).

Other Quirks

-Caleb gets the hiccups all the time. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but they prevent him from napping, which makes him pretty crabby!

-We bought an Ergo carrier with some gift card money, and Caleb seems to like it most of the time. I just have to remember not to wear nice shirts while wearing him–he tends to drool/snot/spit-up all over my chest. Mmm.

-Our little dude continues to look exactly like Seth. So I guess that’s why I think he’s so darn cute.

6 weeks in

This morning I had my postpartum check-up–it’s hard to believe it has already been 6 weeks since our little muchacho arrived. My appointment went smoothly–my blood pressure, BMI, and lady parts are all back to normal.

This milestone has gotten me motivated to get my pre-baby body back. I’m within about 4-5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’d like to regain some muscle tone and make sure my body is adequately fueled for breastfeeding. Accordingly, I’ve put together a meal plan and exercise plan for the week. Hopefully, this will help me achieve my goals!

MEAL PLAN

Su: lentil burgers + sriracha roasted cauliflower

M: orange sesame salmon (similar to this recipe) + cauliflower rice

Tu: zoodles w. pesto + feta

W: butternut squash hash + eggs

Th: peanut butter chili

F: take-out (?)

Sa: goddess garbanzo pitas + salad

EXERCISE PLAN

M: elliptical + abs

Tu: run + arms

W: elliptical + legs

Th: run + chest/back

F: elliptical + abs

Sa: run

Su: rest

Not the most exciting of fitness routines, but, with a colicky baby, my options right now are limited to what I can do in the house or with him in the stroller.

To any of you moms out there: any tips for sticking to a healthy eating and fitness routine?

caleb at 1 month

Somehow, our little boy is already 1 month old today!

Growth

We haven’t had our 1 month check-up at the pediatrician just yet, but based on our rudimentary at-home measurement, Caleb is currently about 9.5 pounds. He’s still wearing mostly newborn size clothing, although he’s too long for a few sets of pajamas.

Likes & Dislikes

Caleb has been completely fascinated by lights since day 1–Christmas trees were quite entertaining during the first few weeks of his life! He doesn’t like bedtime very much, but lullabies make it a bit more tolerable. We have a few that we play every night to soothe him to sleep. In terms of dislikes, Caleb is not a big fan of diaper changes or having his nails trimmed. Thank goodness Auntie Katie is a pro at baby manicures–otherwise, he might have some dangerous claws at this point!

Eating & Sleeping

Breastfeeding has gone relatively smoothly. I did get to meet with a lactation consultant in the hospital who was incredibly helpful–she gave me so many great tips for positioning and making sure Caleb stays awake long enough to feed (he tends to doze off about 5 minutes in…). Speaking of sleeping, Caleb can now last about 5-6 hours at a time at night. He hasn’t started sleeping in his crib just yet, although he does spend some of his waking hours there–hopefully that will ease the transition when the time comes.

Other Quirks

-When hungry, he makes a distinctive “oy oy oy” sound.

-He’s not perturbed by dogs at all–he sleeps right through all their barking, and he doesn’t mind when they lick his face.

-Caleb is a very “handsy” baby–if he’s not sucking on them, he is gesturing with them or yanking on my shirt.

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Although I want him to stay little forever, I’m excited to see what milestones month 2 may bring!